Professor Kevin Stenson


Department: Mannheim centre for criminology,
Department of Sociology (Visiting Fellow)



Research interests

Kevin Stenson achieved his PhD at Brunel University. He was previously Professor of Criminology at Buckinghamshire New University and Middlesex University. He is now Honorary Professor at the University of Kent and Visiting Professor at London Metropolitan University.His empirical work has included studies of: young people's perceptions and uses of public spaces, social work, probation and policing practice (including stop and search and community policing); the link between inter-ethnic conflict and policing; urban development and social order; studies in social housing neighbourhoods in the Thames Valley of the links between deprivation, crime and other social problems; the development and evaluation of community safety policies and practices; and parent support programmes.

His enduring theoretical interest has been in exploring the new forms of liberal governance that have emerged since the rise of New Right ideologies and administrations, with particular reference to the politics of crime control. He emphasises a need to counterbalance an interest in 'governance from above' by state, NGO and major commercial agencies, with a focus on 'governance from below', by a host of networks and agencies from religious and friendship groups to 'organised' crime, paramilitary and 'terrorist' organisations.

He is currently involved in a large grant study (£600k) funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Economic and Social Research Council: 'Negotiating Identity: young people's perspectives on faith values, community norms and social cohesion' organised from Brunel University by Prof. Nicola Madge.

He has produced a range of official reports, advised policy makers and published widely in leading journals. His work has been translated into other languages and he has also been invited to present papers in a range of countries and worked with many international scholars


External activities

He served as Chair of the Southern Branch of the British Society of Criminology and on the society's Executive Committee, is a co-author of the UK Quality Assurance Agency subject benchmarks for criminology and is on the editorial Boards of Critical Criminology and Criminal Justice Matters.

He recently participated in the President of the Law Society's internal seminar series on the law and surveillance. He has served as external examiner for undergraduate and post-graduate programmes and PhD theses in several universities.




  • Lippert, R. and Stenson, K (2010 forthcoming) 'Advanced Governmentality Studies , Lessons from Social Constructionism ', in Theoretical Criminology, 14, 4.
  • Stenson, K. (Forthcoming, 2010) 'Risk, Crime and Governance' in Martine Herzog-Evans (ed.), Transnational Criminology Manual (volume 1) Nijmegen: Wolf Legal, Publishers.
  • Fletcher, R and K. Stenson (2009) 'Governance and the London Metropolitan Police Service', Policing, A Journal of Policy and Practice. 3 (1) 12-21. Special issue on policing and governance, edited by Kevin Stenson.
  • Stenson, K. (2008) 'Governing the Local: Sovereignty, Social Governance and Community Safety'. Social Work and Society (on line), 6, 1: (21 pages) -Special issue on De-and Re-Territorialisation of "the Social"' - commentary on the work of Kevin Stenson (
  • Stenson, K. (2008) 'Beyond Kantianism: Responses to Critiques' Social Work and Society (on line), 6, 1: (7 pages) -Special issue on De-and Re-Territorialisation of "the Social"' commentary on the work of Kevin Stenson (
  • "Surveillance and Sovereignty" (2008), in M. Deflem (ed) Surveillance and Governance: Crime Control and Beyond" Sociology of Crime, law and Deviance, Volume 10, Bingley: Emerald.
  • Lea, J. and Stenson, K. (2007) 'Security, Sovereignty, and Non-State Governance "From Below"'Canadian Jnl. of Law and Society, 22, 2: 9-28. Special issue of journal on 'Governance from Below' edited by Kevin Stenson and Randy Lippert.
  • Stenson,K. (2007)'Framing the Governance of Urban Space', in: - R. Atkinson and G. Helms (eds) Securing an Urban Renaissance: crime, community and British urban policy Bristol: The Policy Press
  • Stenson K and Waddington, P.A.J. (2007) Macpherson, Police Stops and Institutional Racism in M. Rowe (ed) Policing Beyond Macpherson Cullompton: Willan.
  • Stenson, K. (2005) 'Sovereignty, Biopolitics and Community Safety in Britain' Theoretical Criminology (special Issue on community safety in Europe) 9,(3) 265-287.
  • Waddington, P.A.J. Stenson, K and Don, D. (2004) 'In proportion: race and police stop and search' British Journal of Criminology 44,6: 889-914.
  • Stenson, K. and Edwards, A. (2004) 'Policy Transfer in Local Crime Control: Beyond Naive Emulation', in T. Newburn and R. Sparks (eds) Criminal Justice and Political Cultures, national and international dimensions of crime control, pp.209-233. Cullompton:Willan.
  • Stenson, K., and Sullivan, R.K. (eds) (2001) 'Crime, Risk and Justice, the politics of crime control in liberal democracies'. Cullompton: Willan
  • Stenson K. and Watt, P. (1999) 'Governmentality and "The Death of the Social?": a discourse analysis of local government texts in the South east of England, in Urban Studies, 36:1:189-201 spring 1999.
  • Stenson, K. (1998) 'Beyond Histories of the Present', Economy and Society, 27:4:333-352
  • Watt, P. and Stenson, K. (1998) 'The Street: 'Its a bit dodgy around there', safety, danger, ethnicity and young people's use of public space. in T. Skelton and G. Valentine (eds) Cool Places, Geographies of Youth Cultures London: Routledge.
  • Stenson, K. (1993) 'Community Policing as A Governmental Technology', Economy and Society, 22,3: 373-89.
  • Stenson, K. and Cowell, D. (eds) (1991) 'The Politics of Crime Control', Sage: Beverly Hills/London (includes K. Stenson, 'Making Sense of Crime Control').