History of Criminology

LECRI1501  2017-2018  Louvain-la-Neuve

History of Criminology
5.0 credits
30.0 h

Kaminski Dan ;
Main themes

The course is primarily devoted to the knowledge on the crime, the criminalized person and the penal reaction which is reserved for them. As for the crime and the criminal, will be approached the thoughts of the 18th century, the birth of social sciences at the beginning of the 19th century, the development of psychiatry and finally, the birth of criminology(with Lombroso) as " specific activity of knowledge". As for the theories relating to the penal reaction, the penal theories of the 18th century ( "classics") and the positivist theories will be studied. One will also examine the contribution of the first sociologists to the sociological thought.


The aim of this course is to provide an introduction, from an historical perspective, to the major issues under discussion in the field of criminology since this field was created in the Western world.

This transdisciplinary introduction, which will cover the contributions of medicine, psychiatry, penal law, sociology, psychology and philosophy, highlights the impact of theoretical, ethical and political questions of the present knowledge on crime and punishment.

The student will have to be able to identify the major features of differentiation and resemblance of the studied knowledge and to perceive the complexity of the thoughts sometimes hidden behind the over-simplification of some generally accepted ideas.

The contribution of this Teaching Unit to the development and command of the skills and learning outcomes of the programme(s) can be accessed at the end of this sheet, in the section entitled “Programmes/courses offering this Teaching Unit”.


The various examined theoretical contributions are the subject of a masterly talk accompanied by a powerpoint projection. Each theory is located in its historical context and its relationship with the close theories. The works below constitute the fundamental reference of teaching. This course constitutes a 30 hours whole.

Evaluation methods

Written exam (QCM)

Other information

Support: work in 2 volumes. C. Debuyst, F. Digneffe, JM Labadie, A.Pires, Histoire des savoirs sur le crime et la peine, tome I. Des savoirs diffus à la notion de criminel-né, Bruxelles, De Boeck, 1995. C. Debuyst, F. Digneffe, JM Labadie, A. Pires, Histoire des savoirs sur le crime et la peine, Tome II. La rationalité pénale et la naissance de la criminologie, Bruxelles, De Boeck, 1998. The books take again the material taught orally so that they must be studied for the examination.

Online resources

The documents of Powerpoint projection and other information are available on the site i-campus of the course.

Faculty or entity

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Program title
Master [60] in History

Master [120] in History

Minor in Criminology

Bachelor in Psychology and Education: General