ESC Working Group “European Violence Monitor”

Chair: Anna-Maria Getoš Kalac and Reana Bezić

The ESC Working Group “European Violence Monitor” is a joint initiative of the ESC members with a goal to gather experts in the field of criminology, law, psychology, pedagogy etc., who will actively work on studying violence, its phenomenology, etiology and prosecution in Europe with a multidisciplinary approach.


The Working Group aims to create a forum of experts in the field of criminology and criminal justice focused on violence and violent crime in the framework of the ESC. The main idea of the working group is to analyse violence itself (not the perpetrator or the victim or the act) in order to see it as what it is: a criminological reality, rather to deal with its normative and therefore social conceptualization. Based on looking at the violence itself the thesis is that we can come up with a “genuine violence classification system”, in contrast to the classification systems used in mainstream violence research that commonly relay on normative classifications (focusing either on motivation, victim, or offender-victim relationship, or all kind of other factors besides the violence itself). So, the main aim of this working group will be to develop and test a “genuine violence classification system” in Europe with the potential to reshape our perception and comprehension of violence, which has so far almost solemnly relied on the normative definition of violence and its consequent normative classification that disguises more of the actual violence than it might ever reveal. 

Research Focuses

Since there is no commonly accepted definition of violence, EViMo working group will study ‘core business’ of violence – physical violence, defined as intentional physical harming/killing another person.

Our aim is to take a holistic approach towards violence and to study this phenomenon in its criminological reality, not necessarily sticking to its normative framework. The reason for that approach lies in the fact that homicide research and its findings often serve as an indicator or even proxy for violent crime in general. The methodological pitfall here is quite obvious, whereas basic conceptual premises seem to be simply wrong, since e.g. the homicide rate measures the number of homicides in relation to population, but not the violence itself, at least not outside the framework of the normative disguise of the violence that remains well hidden behind its’ normative conceptualisation. One count of murder perfectly measures the fact that one act of lethal violence has taken place. But what it does not measure is the quantity and quality or the essence of the actual violence applied by the perpetrator and suffered by the victim, which may vary tremendously when comparing two different cases of murder. Through this working group this should all be taken into account and will therefore focus on the ‘core business’ of violence through analysing its criminological reality (testing a “genuine violence classification system”) instead of sticking to its normative framework.

This working group would provide a platform of exchanging knowledge in the field of criminology in order to internationally test “genuine violence classification system”. Measuring violence outside its normative framework would also provide a possible innovative tool for future violence research.


Membership is open to anyone with a scholarly interest in European aspects of violence, meaning not only active members of academic society interested in this phenomenon, but also criminal justice practitioners at any stage involved in prosecution of delinquent violence (judges, state attorneys, police etc.).  Since this working group will take a holistic, multidisciplinary approach towards violence, we warmly welcome not only criminologists but also lawyers, psychologists, forensics, psychiatrists, anthropologists to join our working group and create a multidisciplinary platform for exchanging knowledge on (delinquent) violence.

If you are interested in joining the WG please contact the WG Chair:

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Anna-Maria Getoš Kalac                                              

University of Zagreb, Faculty of Law

Trg Republike Hrvatske 14; 10000 Zagreb, Croatia

E-mail:  anna.kalac@violence-lab.eu

Reana Bezić, mag. iur.

University of Zagreb, Faculty of Law

Trg Republike Hrvatske 14; 10000 Zagreb, Croatia

E-mail:  reana.bezic@violence-lab.eu

European Society of Criminology EViMo working group