Building a Caucasian Criminology: An origin story

Kwan-Lamar Blount-Hill, PhD, JD

Arizona State University

ARISC Fellow

Thursday, October 12, 2023, 5:30-7:00 PM Baku time (9:30-11:00am EDT)

 Registration required:

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Overview: The “internationality” of criminology and criminal justice has grown as researchers increasingly recognize that issues of crime and justice are both contextually unique and strikingly common. For criminology to be a robust and rigorous discipline, its practitioners must engage in comparative study that ensures claims to universality actually reflect the vast array of human experiences across the globe. A more inclusive criminology, with contributions from across cultural and situational contexts, increases the angles from which we study a given subject and thus allows scientific observation in fuller view. Alternatively, if one concedes that social phenomena are too diverse for generalization, the increasing interconnectedness of our world requires study of the entire globe. For many reasons, the Azerbaijani context offers a rich and distinct setting for cross-cultural research. In July 2022, I traveled to Baku, Azerbaijan, the start of a broadly-conceived research agenda to infuse Azerbaijani social experience into international bodies of knowledge regarding justice, fairness, and crime. While the purpose of this trip was primarily nonresearch familiarization, I drew on focused ethnographic methodologies – predominantly informal interviewing, observation, and direct experience – to help set the foundations of the research to come. In this presentation, I share what was learned from this trip, the questions and future research it inspired, and one of its results, work published by the Law Department at Baku State University in which I proposed “empirical criminal legal jurisprudence” as a research perspective.

Speaker: Kwan-Lamar Blount-Hill, JD, PhD,is an assistant professor of criminology and criminal justice at Arizona State University (Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.). His primary research focus is on social group identity and its intersection with justice perceptions and experience. He has applied this interest widely, from proposing group-identity roots for ecosystem destruction, to group narrative structures for interpreting police violence, to emphasizing the diversity science merits of group representation within academia. More detailed biographical information may be found here.

This event is sponsored by the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). Lectures are free and open to the public. Learn more at

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