True Crime - Understanding What Makes Criminals Tick

True Crime - Understanding What Makes Criminals Tick

May 3, 2024
Podcast about the technological possibilities of criminological research

In its latest episode, the podcast IQ – Science and Research, presented by the German public-service radio and television broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR), looks into methods that can help researchers to better understand offenders and, ideally, contribute to crime prevention.

From the Field to the Lecture Hall

From the Field to the Lecture Hall

April 30, 2024
Patrick McClanahan joins the University of Alabama as Assistant Professor

After ten years in Europe, Max Planck researcher Patrick McClanahan is returning to the USA. The criminologist will start teaching at the University of Alabama this summer.

eucrim Editorial Board Meeting in Brussels, April 2024.

What’s next for eucrim

April 19, 2024
New Topics and Call for Papers

At their meeting in Brussels in the premises of OLAF, the eucrim editorial board members decided on the topics for the coming eucrim issues.

Does Democracy Need to Be Protected?

Does Democracy Need to Be Protected?

April 18, 2024
Ralf Poscher in the news

Democracy is facing challenges, such as the rise of right-wing populist parties in many world regions. Anti-democratic positions have often already permeated the mainstream of society. Does this mean democracy needs to be protected?

Why do some people commit crimes?

Why do some people commit crimes?

April 9, 2024
Badische Zeitung reports on doctoral research project

There are many different reasons why people commit crimes. Among them: a lack of self-control and the need for immediate gratification – this is also known as a lack of future orientation.

Prof. Jean-Louis van Gelder

Criminal Minds

April 8, 2024
Freiburg’s VR expert tells Berliner Morgenpost why researching crime is tricky

Crime does not usually happen in the open. And because the perpetrators do everything they can to escape being “caught on the job”, they do not lend themselves to observational research. Moreover, there are simply ethical and legal obstacles to witnessing criminal acts. This has been a major hurdle in crime research in the past.

Independent Research Groups

Behavioral Economics of Crime and Conflict
Max Planck Research Group
Personality, Identity, and Crime
Max Planck Research Group
Space, Contexts, and Crime
Max Planck Research Group
Criminal Law Theory
Max Planck Research Group

Call for Papers

The Cognition, Behavior & Evolution Network (CBEN) in the Low Countries, CBEN & MVE joint meeting, October 24–25, 2024, Maastricht/Netherlands
Organization: School of Business and Economics, Maastricht University
Website   Call for Abstracts
Deadline: June 17, 2024

eucrim – Online Journal
European Law Forum: Prevention • Investigation • Prosecution (eucrim 2024/2025)
Website   Call for Papers (pdf file)

Events

Key Issues in Criminal Justice

May 24, 2024 09:15 AM - 05:00 PM (Local Time Germany)
Freiburg/Germany, Fürstenbergstr. 19, Room: Seminar room (F 113)

Theorizing Criminal Law

Jun 3, 2024 - Jun 4, 2024
Freiburg/Germany, Fürstenbergstr. 19, Room: Seminar room (F 113)

Look Away: A True Story of Murders, Bombings, and a Far-Right Campaign to Rid Germany of Immigrants

Jun 3, 2024 04:00 PM - 05:00 PM (Local Time Germany)
Freiburg/Germany, Günterstalstr. 73, Room: Auditorium | Guests are welcome; please register

Meet the Researchers


The Directors

The Directors

Tatjana Hörnle, Jean-Louis van Gelder, and Ralf Poscher – the Institute’s direc­tors – introduce their research depart­ments and explain why the Max Planck Institute is one of the top addresses for international researchers in the fields of criminal law, public law, and criminology.
Dominik Gerstner, Postdoc, De­part­ment of Criminology

Dominik Gerstner, Postdoc, De­part­ment of Criminology

“How can virtual reality experiments help us to better understand the behavior of burglars?”
Sofiya Kartalova, Postdoc, De­part­ment of Public Law

Sofiya Kartalova, Postdoc, De­part­ment of Public Law

“What is the mysterious adhesive that helps the Member States of the European Union stick together?”
Ivó Coca-Vila, Senior Researcher, De­part­ment of Criminal Law

Ivó Coca-Vila, Senior Researcher, De­part­ment of Criminal Law

“What types of behavior should be criminalized in western democratic states?”
Clara Rigoni, Senior Researcher, De­part­ment of Criminal Law

Clara Rigoni, Senior Researcher, De­part­ment of Criminal Law

“We probably all agree that plu­ral­ity is a major char­ac­ter­istic of today´s socie­ties. But what role does plurality play in crim­i­nal law? And, in particular, how can we guarantee effective crime control in socie­ties that are so diverse?”
Sebastian Kübel, Doctoral Researcher, Department of Criminology

Sebastian Kübel, Doctoral Researcher, Department of Criminology

“How do you view your fu­ture? Although I hope you have optimistic expectations, I am con­vinced that one’s view of the future depends very much on past expe­ri­ence. In my research, I consider how future prospects might sud­denly change after being violently victimized.”
Federica Cop­pola, Senior Researcher, De­part­ment of Criminal Law

Federica Cop­pola, Senior Researcher, De­part­ment of Criminal Law

“One of the most pressing issues in cur­rent de­bates on criminal justice con­cerns the short­com­ings of imprison­ment. Prison environ­ments can have traumatizing effects on con­fined people. Long prison sentences have no positive impact on relapses on criminal be­hav­ior.”
James M. An­go­ve, Senior Re­searcher, Department of Public Law

James M. An­go­ve, Senior Re­searcher, Department of Public Law

“When political violence happens, it is tempting to point a finger at those who committed the violence or those who en­couraged them. But, on inspection, modern political violence doesn’t always meet these expectations.”

Publication Highlights


Why is violence high and persistent indeprived communities? A formal model
Gefahr und allgemeines Lebensrisiko
Trait-specificity versus global positivity: A critical test of alternative sources of assumed similarity in personality judgments.
Handbuch des Verfassungsrechts : Darstellung in transnationaler Perspektive
Journal of Research in Crime and DelinquencyVolume 60 Issue 4, July 2023Special Issue: Crime, Choice, and ContextGuest Editor: Jean-Louis van GelderGuest Editor: Daniel S. Nagin
Plädoyer für die Legalisierung der Leihmutterschaft. Interdisziplinäre Analyse der Problemfelder und Regulierungsvorschlag am Vorbild der Lebendorganspende (Doktorarbeit)
Why It Is Not Unreasonable to Fear Terrorism
Die Schuld des Menschen
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