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  • Print publication year: 2017
  • Online publication date: October 2018

Chapter 5 - Establishment of Criminology in Italy and France



The previous chapter explained how in the course of the nineteenth century – in part influenced by the further development of the criminal justice system – authors increasingly wrote about the problems of crime and the combatting of crime, from very diff erent perspectives. In the final two decades of the century, the European literature on these topics increased well-nigh explosively. That enormous growth in the number of publications is not the only diff erence, however, in the way this field of study had developed in the preceding decades. Another important diff erence is that, around the turn of the nineteenth century, this domain increasingly took on the form of a separate scientific discipline, namely criminology. The academic institutionalisation of this field manifested itself, inter alia, in the establishment of specialised journals, the founding of new associations, the organisation of dedicated national and international conferences, the publication of specific primers, and the establishment of special university chairs. The man who provided the decisive impulse for the “scientisation” of criminology was undoubtedly Cesare Lombroso. He is quite rightly considered the founder of the discipline.

It is therefore an obvious step for us to begin by devoting ample attention to the views that Lombroso expressed from 1876 on – when the first edition appeared of his renowned Trattato antropologico sperimentale dell ‘Uomo Delinquente studiato in rapporto all’ antropologia, alla medicina legale e alla discipline carcerarie [Anthropological and Experimental Treatise on the Criminal Man Studied in Relation to Anthropology, Legal Medicine and Prison Science] (usually abbreviated to Uomo delinquente) – about the criminal individual and the struggle that Lombroso waged in order to have these views taken seriously in both the scientific and political worlds. But in his homeland of Italy, Lombroso was not alone, and references were already made at the time to the “Italian”, “Positive”, and also “Anthropological” School of criminology. Lombroso's main associates within that school were the lawyers Enrico Ferri and Raff aele Garofalo. Their work cannot therefore be ignored here, if only to show that the term “school” should not be taken too literally: the opinions of Lombroso, Ferri, and Garofalo in fact diff ered considerably on a number of points.

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