Advancing science and research in criminal justice/criminology: Complex systems theory and non-linear analyses

Academic Article

Abstract

  • For over a century, criminological research has been able to explain a consistently small amount of the variation in crime. It is plausible that the problem with criminological theory is not in the theory but in the analysis. Complex systems science (CSS) attempts to examine data in a different way - often making the most of error data discarded by linear analyses. This paper addresses the viability of using CSS in criminological research. An example is drawn from social disorganization theory to demonstrate the ability of CSS to explain crime at the neighborhood level. The result is a new theory called Ecodynamics Theory, developed by combining the elements of neighborhood research with complex systems analyses. The implications of this theory to increase the efficacy of criminological research are discussed.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Justice Quarterly  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Walker JT
  • Start Page

  • 555
  • End Page

  • 581
  • Volume

  • 24
  • Issue

  • 4