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Civilizing Europe: Historical trends in violent crime

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  1. Introduction
  2. Civilizing Europe
  3. Historical trends in violent crime
  4. Social control
  5. D. Reisman
  6. Conclusion

We have two articles which were written by Eisner in 2003 and 2008. In the first one, we focused on theoretical approaches which explain the decline of violence in the long-term. It is clear that if you look back over the last centuries, we can observe a huge decrease of violent behaviors. The second one also gives use theoretical approach to understand more recent evolution, especially the years of increase during the second half of the twentieth century.

In the introduction of the first article, the author explains the difficulty to put forward a general explanation for the evolution of violence because of the disparity of local patterns. However, he argues that there are five points which can characterize general patterns in long term perspectives. First, there has been a little change in the sex and age structure of violence offenders.

Secondly, it is clear there has been a decline of interpersonal criminal violence in Europe. Thirdly, we must take account of the differences in terms of pace and timing among European societies. Fourth, Eisner assumes that historically, there is a correlation between a high level of violence and a high level of elite involvement. Five, it is agreed that when we speak about violence, we generally mean male-to-male encounters because it represents the majority of the cases.

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