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Institute of Criminology


The Purpose and Aims of the Cambridge Decolonising Criminology Network (CDCN)

Like other social science disciplines, criminology has been dominated by Western scholarship, literature, and theoretical perspectives.  This 'Westerncentrism' of the discipline often limits its serious engagement with alternative, non-western, and culturally specific accounts / theorisation of crime and punishment. More prominently, it pushes the non-west into an ‘exotic periphery’ that might be spoken about or extracted from, but which is not imagined as a source of valuable insight or production of knowledge.  

The Cambridge Decolonising Criminology Network (CDCN) is an initiative set up by members of the Institute of Criminology, to overcome the coloniality of knowledge and understanding by encouraging more subaltern, non-western and indigenous voices in the field. It aims to bring together students, researchers, and eminent scholars in the field of criminology or related fields to critically reflect, discuss and rethink the workings of the discipline through a decolonial lens.

More importantly, the CDCN aims to provide a space for open reflection and dialogue for future criminological research. It seeks to unseat the western nation state as a singular point of departure for comparative criminological research and engage with post-colonial and post-disciplinary perspectives and methodologies.

Since its inception in early 2020, the network has grown leaps and bounds and has managed to reach and spark interest of a lot of students, researchers, and academicians in the field in the UK, and around the world. The network has regularly organised online seminars, panel discussions, reading groups, and they have been actively involved in the equality, diversity, and inclusion discussions at the Institute of Criminology.

Through this network, they hope and strive to push scholars in the discipline to think about set matters when researching or writing about criminological issues.

PHOTO CREDIT: Professor Jianhong Liu (Faculty of Law, University of Macau & Editor, Asian Journal of Criminology

How to Contact the CDCN

Facebook Decolonising Criminology Network Group @decolonisingcriminology 
Twitter @CambridgeDCN
CDCN Committee

Other members are appointed on an annual basis.


In May 2022, Kanupriya Sharma, the founding member of the network was nominated and awarded with the Vice Chancellors Social Impact Award by Cambridge Hub, for exceptional achievement and commitment to positive social change in academia. You can read Kanupriya's blog about her award here.

Seminar Series

The CDCN Seminar Series runs throughout the academic year, hosting a diverse, and interdisciplinary range of speakers including imminent academicians, early career researchers and criminal justice practitioners from the UK and around the world.

The seminar usually lasts for an hour followed by questions and a discussion. To encourage global participation, the seminars are usually held virtually or in a hybrid format and are open to all.

If you are interested in speaking at the series or have a recommendation for a speaker, please get in touch!

Please find below a list of our previous seminars:

2020 - 2021


2021 - 2022

Lent Term 2022


21 January

Carceral Cultures in Contemporary India

Dr Mahuya Bandyopadhyay (Department of Humanities & Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi)

11 February

Human Rights for Righteous Humans: A pluriversal regime of rights in Brazil

Dr Omar Phoenix Khan (Lecturer in Criminology, University of Oxford)

Easter Term 2022

5 May

Panel discussion on ‘The future of policing: Defund? Decolonise? Or Reimagine?’

  • Professor Alex Vitale (Professor of Sociology at Brooklyn College and The CUNY Graduate Center & Author of the End of Policing)
  • Dr Peter Neyroud (Associate Professor in Evidence-based Policing and Deputy Director of the Police Executive Programme, University of Cambridge)
  • Robyn Maynard (Vanier scholar and PhD candidate, University of Toronto, author of Policing Black Lives (Fernwood, 2017), co-author of Rehearsals for Living (forthcoming 2022).

27 May 27

Decolonising Criminology: Why is it important to understand about coloniality?

Dr Eleni Dimou (Department of Social Policy & Criminology, Open University, UK)

27 June

Exploring the Gendered Harms of Imprisonment in Southeast Asia: Critical and Reflexive Perspectives

  • Dr Samantha Jeffries (Senior Lecturer in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice/Griffith Criminology Institute, Griffith University)
  • Dr Andrew M Jefferson (Senior Researcher at DIGNITY)


Reading Group

The Decolonising Criminology Reading Group meets once each term, and is open to all who have an interest in decolonisation matters related to research, writing, and academic practice. We are committed to creating a safe space for candid reflection and respectful discussion.

Find CDCN on Facebook and Twitter for more details on reading group details. There is no need to confirm attendance, but please do get in touch if you would like to be added to our network e-mail

The CDCN Reading Group has previously read:

Upcoming Events

Details will be posted here of future events, as well as on the Institute of Criminology's Upcoming Events webpage.