Professor Per-Olof Wikström

Professor of Ecological and Developmental Criminology
Director of the PADS+ Research Centre

Fellow of Girton College


Per-Olof H. Wikström (PhD, Docent, Stockholm University), FBA, is Professor of Ecological and Developmental Criminology at the Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge, and Professorial Fellow of Girton College.

He is the director of the Peterborough Adolescent and Young Adult Development Study (PADS+), a major ESRC funded research project which aims to advance knowledge about crime causation and prevention. Professor Wikström's main research interests are developing unified theory of the causes of crime (Situational Action Theory), its empirical testing and its application to devising knowledge-based prevention policies.

His recent book publications include Breaking Rules. The Social and Situational Dynamics of Young People's Urban Crime (2012, with Dietrich Oberwittler, Kyle Treiber & Beth Hardie), The Explanation of Crime: Contexts, Mechanisms and Development (2006, editor together with Robert J. Sampson) and Adolescent Crime: Individual Differences and Lifestyles (2006, with David Butterworth).

Recent articles and book chapters include Social Disadvantage and Crime. A Criminological Puzzle (2016, with Kyle Treiber), Situational Theory. The importance of interactions and action mechanisms (2015, with Kyle Treiber), Why Crimes Happens (2014), Towards an Analytical Criminology (2013, with Kyle Treiber), Does Everything Matter? Addressing the Problem of Causation and Explanation in the Study of Crime (2011), Explaining Crime as Moral Action (2010), Situational Action Theory (2010), Activity Fields and the Dynamics of Crime. Advancing Knowledge About the Role of the Environment in Crime Causation (2010, with Vania Ceccato, Beth Hardie & Kyle Treiber), Crime Propensity, Criminogenic Exposure and Crime Involvement in Early to Mid Adolescence (2009), What Drives Persistent Offending? The Neglected Role of the Social Environment (2009, with Kyle Treiber), The Social Ecology of Crime. The Role of the Environment in Crime Causation (2007), The Social Origins of Pathways in Crime (2005), Crime as an Alternative: Towards a Cross-Level Situational Action Theory of Crime Causation (2004), Social Mechanisms of Community Influences on Crime and Pathways in Criminality (2003, with Robert J Sampson) and Do Disadvantaged Neighbourhoods Cause Well-Adjusted Children to Become Adolescent Delinquents (2000, with Rolf Loeber).

In 1994, he received the Sellin-Glueck Award for outstanding contributions to international criminology from the American Society of Criminology, in 2002 he was made a Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford and in 2010 he was made a Fellow of the American Society of Criminology, in 2011 he was elected a Fellow of the British Academy and in 2016 he was a winner of the 2016 Stockholm Prize in Criminology.