Crime, Place, and Space: The Importance of the Spatial Dimension in Criminological Theory

Matthew Giblin, University of Alaska Anchorage

ABSTRACT
The relationship between crime and space is widely recognized in a variety of spatial theories of crime. Among the most prominent spatial theories are social disorganization theory and routine activities theory. These theoretical approaches explicitly include a geographic component and attempt to address the importance of geographic location in the study of crime. However, a spatial dimension is also implicitly or explicitly incorporated into a number of other traditions, many of which are not widely recognized as spatial theories. This paper argues for an expaneded definition of spatial criminology and describes how a spatial dimension wasw included in a diverse range of theoretical approaches throughout the history of criminological theory.

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Updated 05/20/2006