FIDUCIA: New European Crimes and Trust-based Policy
Funded by European Commission Seventh Framework Programme
The FIDUCIA project sheds light on a number of distinctively "new European" criminal acts that have emerged in the last decade as a consequence of technological developments and the increased mobility of populations across Europe. We will develop policy responses to "new" forms of deviant behaviours that are also highly relevant to responding to "conventional" forms of criminality.
The FIDUCIA concept stems from the idea that public trust (in latin, "fiducia") in justice is critically important for social regulation, in that it leads to public acceptance of the legitimacy of institutions of justice and thus compliance with the law. The project will investigate whether a change of direction in criminal policy – from deterrence strategies and penal populism to procedural justice and trust-based policy – is desirable, and in what terms.
While traditional research is primarily concerned on "why people break the law", the focus in FIDUCIA is on "why people obey the law". The FIDUCIA consortium (containing 14 institutions, led by Stefano Maffei at the University of Parma) will conduct four case studies of new forms of criminality that reflect – in various ways – the development of supra-national structures and processes across Europe. The four crime categories are: a) trafficking of human beings; b) trafficking of goods; c) the criminalisation of migration and ethnic minorities; and d) cyber-crimes. In addition, FIDUCIA will examine questions of criminalisation; assess the importance of public trust in justice and beliefs about the legitimacy of their own criminal justice system; and explore whether trust-based regulation makes sense at a supra-national level. The findings will inform an innovative model of "trust-based" policy with a raft of far-reaching recommendations for politicians and law-makers in Member States and the institutions of the European Union.
The FIDUCIA project builds upon Euro-Justis and draws upon data from the Trust in Justice ESS module.