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Homicide is one of the most dramatic and tragic offences. It has very high priority in research, public opinion, policy, and prevention in the European nations. Unfortunately, it is one of the most difficult crimes to be studied due to the low frequency and the high variability of events.

Moreover, most statistical sources on homicide that exist in European countries are hardly cross-nationally comparable. Regrettably to date our knowledge and information on homicide in Europe is rather limited.

Therefore, it is of importance to stimulate the study of homicide in each of the different European countries. Furthermore, there is a need to describe differences in homicide patterns across European countries and examine various explanations for the (cross-national) differences in these patterns. Violent crimes result from the complex interplay between individual and contextual factors, including societal and legal institutions. Since these institutions differ cross-nationally, homicide patterns may do so accordingly. Cross-national research thus is inexplicable to gain detailed knowledge on homicide and test criminological theories on violence.

In order to stimulate homicide research in Europe and to promote contact between the various European researchers working on national homicide studies, we have established the European Homicide Research working group. Fortunately, homicide research projects are underway in various European countries and the number of European homicide researchers is substantial and growing. We would like to invite the ESC members involved in these homicide studies to combine their expertise and join the working group.


To facilitate research on homicide in Europe and maximize international dissemination of homicide research results.


A number of specific objectives in support of this aim have been established:

  • promote communication between European homicide researchers
  • organize thematic homicide sessions at the annual ESC meetings
  • establish cross-national research ties and promote international collaboration on homicide research
  • offer a 'best European paper' award for outstanding research in the area of homicide research


The working group is chaired by and its activities coordinated by Marieke Liem. All ESC-members involved in homicide research projects are invited to join. If you would like to join, please send your name, position, affiliation, and a description of the research project you are working on to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
The EHRG Website is online and can be found here:

Contact address

Marieke Liem
Leiden University
Law Faculty
Department of Criminology
Steenschuur 25
2311 ES Leiden
The Netherlands
Tel: +31 71 527 7462
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