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Thirty years of criminology at HKU: themes and trends in crime and its control

Karen Joe Laidler (University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)
Maggy Lee (University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)

Social Transformations in Chinese Societies

ISSN: 1871-2673

Article publication date: 3 May 2016



This paper, aims to contribute to the wider project of understanding the production of knowledge about crime and justice and, “to cultivate and sustain a reflexive awareness about the conditions under which such knowledge is (or is not) produced” (Loader and Sparks, 2012, p. 6). In reviewing the core issues and concerns about crime and control from the 1980s as articulated in these research dissertations, the authors seek to be self-reflexive about academic criminology as a field of enquiry in Hong Kong.


In this research, 209 dissertations, completed between 1988 and 2015, are categorized on the basis of the main subject or theme of investigation carried out by each of the research paper.

Findings and originality/value

This discussion is among the first and few attempts to look at the development of criminology in the Hong Kong China region and draws from the unique perspectives of practitioners – those working on the front lines – in their attempts to understand crime and its control with a criminological imagination.



The authors would like to acknowledge The University of Hong Kong’s Sociology Department for providing a small grant in support of this project. They are also grateful to their Research Assistant Amy Lai who helped to compile and analyze the trends in the dissertations. Last but not least, the authors would like to acknowledge their sociology and anthropology colleagues who have supervised the dissertations over the past 30 years – Mike Adorjan, Rod Broadhurst, Ellis Cashmore, Samson Chan, Li Cho, Chu Yiu Kong, Alistair Fraser, Daniel Han, Carol Jones, KE Kuah-Pearce, Kalwan Kwan, Benjamin Leung, David Levin, Jeff Martin, Eugene McLaughlin, Carmen Tong, Harold Traver, Jon Vagg, Thomas Wong and Wong Siu-lun.


Joe Laidler, K. and Lee, M. (2016), "Thirty years of criminology at HKU: themes and trends in crime and its control", Social Transformations in Chinese Societies, Vol. 12 No. 1, pp. 21-36.



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