Professor Per-Olof Wikström FBA

Criminology: Situational Action Theory, crime as moral actions, social ecology of crime, crime & human development, knowledge-based crime prevention policy.

Elected 2011

Per-Olof H. Wikström, (PhD, Docent, Stockholm University), FBA, is Professor of Ecological and Developmental Criminology at the Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge. He is the director of the Peterborough Adolescent and Young Adult Development Study (PADS+), a major ESRC funded longitudinal 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 (PADS+) and its application to devising knowledge-based prevention policies. In 1991, he was elected Northern Scholar by the University of Edinburgh, in 1994, he received the Sellin-Glueck Award for outstanding contributions to international criminology from the American Society of Criminology, in 2002 he was elected a Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford (USA), in 2010 he was named a Fellow of the American Society of Criminology, in 2011 he was elected a Fellow of the British Academy, and in 2016 he was awarded the Stockholm Prize in Criminology (

Current post

Professor of Ecological and Developmental Criminology, University of Cambridge


Situational Theory. The importance of interactions and action mechanisms The HAndbook of Criminological Thoery (Edited by A. Piquero). Wiley. 2015

Why Crime Happens Analytical Sociology: Norms, Actions and Networks. (Ed) G. Manzo. Wiley & sons. 2014

Explaining Crime as Moral Action The Handbook of the Sociology of Morality (Eds) Hitlin & Vaysey. New Yourk. Springer 2010

Individuals, Settings and Acts of Crime. Situational Mechanisms and the Explanation of Crime. The Explanation of Crime: Context, Mechanisms and Development. (Eds) Wikström P-O & Sampson R. J. Cambridge University Press. 2006

Urban Crime, Criminals and Victims New York. Springer verlag. 1991

Breaking Rules. The Social and Situational Dynamics of Young people's Urban Crime Oxford University Press 2012

Sign up to our email newsletters