Jurg Gerber and Martin Killias The Transnationalization of Historically Local Crime: A uto Theft in Western Europe and Russia Markets 1 1. INTRODUCTION Many theories have been used to explain crime trends over the last 50 years. Most explain either why crime is increasing, and they usually suggest a rather slow and more or less constant deterioration of social conditions. This has been the message of dif- ferential association, anomie theory, urban decay concepts and many other approaches. Whereas the generation-long increase of crime in virtually all Western societies between 1945 and 1990 is largely in line with the predictions derived from these traditional theories of criminology, the recent decrease observed in the United States and more recently in other Western countries is not. Crime should not decrease, since urban decay, anomie and socialization of youth has, if at all, changed for the worse rather than for the better; even more challenging is the sudden drop in crime trends, which sheds doubts on ‘easy’ explanations such as those based on demographic factors. Indeed, the decreasing rate of young people in Western societies has been a slow change, such as the long-term effect of more efficient birth control (and
European Journal of Crime, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2003
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