The 29th Baltic Criminological Seminar, organised by the Faculty of Law of the University of Tartu, took place in Tallinn on 16–18 June 2016. This year, the seminar celebrates its 30th year, continuing a tradition begun in 1987 by what was then the Laboratory of the Sociology of Deviant Behaviour at the University of Tartu. The series of annual criminological seminars was initiated by our close colleague Dr Eduard Raska (1944–2008), who was director of the laboratory at that time.
Originally, the event brought together social scientists from the Baltic States, Saint Petersburg, and Moscow in efforts to create an alternative, even competing, paradigm to that of Soviet orthodox criminology. Later, the seminar expanded in scope, and it now draws international participants from not only the Baltic region but all over the world. The Baltic Criminological Seminar has become a scientific enterprise that is highly valued by specialists in the field of crime research and control as an arena for presentation of novel ideas and approaches.
The title of this year’s seminar and collection of papers, ‘Crime, Culture, and Social Control’, was not chosen arbitrarily. Amidst globalisation and cross-cultural exposure, new forms of crime are emerging that require new means of control. Furthermore, criminology should be able to identify and monitor the social changes, in order to find alternatives to today’s dominant, West-centred approaches. Thirdly, in addition to following this ‘cultural turn’, responsible criminology must deal with new social dangers and harms that are emerging from combinations of criminality, psychopathology, and economic and military factors. Thereby, the ways of the past – positivistic precise categorisation of forms of deviance and their study – can be replaced with a holistic approach that brings synthesis.
The articles in this volume of Juridica International address developments and tendencies in crime and crime control in various countries. Some articles offer theoretical investigation of the above-mentioned problems; others present results of empirical research. Most of the journal articles elaborate upon material presented at the seminar, in addition to which there are some authors who could not attend the seminar but were able to contribute to this issue. We would like to thank all the authors and those reviewing and language-editing the articles for their work, which has resulted in a publication of high scientific quality. Finally, we are very thankful to the university’s Faculty of Social Science and School of Law for their financial support for organising the seminar and publishing this volume.
The seminar and this issue of Juridica International are further proof, should any be needed, that the University of Tartu is an excellent place for holding international scientific events and meetings for the exchange of ideas and experience in the field of crime control. The tradition of the Baltic Criminological Seminar has stood the test of time, weathering the many changes that the region has experienced over the last 30 years. It is clear that analysis of crime that knows no borders requires ongoing in-depth international scientific co-operation, and with the current issue we aspire to respond to this need.