Olof Bäckman

Introduction

Photo: Robert Berggren

August 19-20, 2019 a NSfK-funded workshop on register data research in Northern Europe is taking place at the Department of Criminology, Stockholm University. Olof Bäckman is head of the project. He is a sociologist by training and holds a position as senior lecturer of Criminology at Stockholm University.

About the workshop

The workshop is made possible by a grant from the NSfK, which we are very happy about.  The workshop gathers researchers from Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden – most of them with long experience from criminological research using the high quality administrative register data available in these countries. We are also delighted to have the opportunity to welcome researchers from the Netherlands and Scotland who pursue this kind of research in their countries. The research network was actually initiated by Dutch researchers, who two years ago invited a group of Nordic scholars to a workshop at Leiden University on register data based criminological research. This meeting, that was followed by a similar workshop in Copenhagen last year, funded by the Rockwool Foundation.

What do we hope to achieve?

The aim of the workshop is manifold. One is to be a forum for researchers on this kind of data to share experiences and ideas. Another aim is to identify problems and research areas where we can cooperate and do comparative research. Register data has proven to be particularly useful for making evaluations of policy reforms. One comparative project focusing on these studies in a Nordic context is already up and running. This project is headed by Synøve Nygaard Andersen at Statistics Norway and is funded by the NSfK. The project is a result of the workshops we have had and is an excellent example of what we want the research network and workshop to inspire and result in.

Programme and list of participants.

Update after the workshop; Planning for the future

  • Arrange a new workshop on this same theme.
  • Form an ESC working group (and thereby expand the group of countries).
  • A “cohort profile” article, in which we describe the data available in each country.
  • A special issue in a criminology journal.
  • Article on the changing profile of the age-crime curve.
  • Supporting the advancement of data access, not least by a focus on policy issues.
  • Produce an anthology in which the usefulness of administrative register data is highlighted.
  • Applying for bigger funding.