1st Edition

The Criminology of Carlo Morselli - Part I

Edited By Rémi Boivin, David Décary-Hétu Copyright 2024

    The first of two volumes, this book about the criminology of Carlo Morselli includes diverse contributions that study the social inter-dependence of criminal phenomena. It presents various studies on the importance and impact of social ties on offenders, victims and the social response to crime.

    The idea that social relationships are central to the understanding of human phenomena draws its roots from Jacob Moreno’s work in 1934, whose contribution – among others made at about the same time – paved the way for social network analysis (SNA), a set of methods and approaches that study dyadic relationships and their connections to other dyads in the same network. Surprisingly, SNA was not widely adopted in criminology until the end of the 20th century. It took researchers like Carlo Morselli to apply the principles of SNA and graph theory to criminological objects. As a researcher, Morselli embodied SNA; he was a so-called ‘broker’ in his network of social scientists, linking dozens of excellent researchers that he collaborated with, directly or not. Granovetter showed that ‘weak ties’ – or acquaintances – were important in the diffusion of new ideas, and Morselli put that insight to practice in criminology. This collection of works from experts in the field takes on questions that Morselli worked on throughout his career, drawing on his theoretical insights, his methods, and even his general conceptualisation of what organised crime is, and isn’t, to deliver rich and fertile scholarship on the study of social networks in criminology.

    The Criminology of Carlo Morselli - Part I will be a key resource for academics, researchers, and advanced students of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Sociology, and Social Sciences. The chapters included in this book were originally published as a special issue of Global Crime.

    Introduction: the criminology of Carlo Morselli

    Rémi Boivin and David Décary-Hétu

    1. The determinants of group membership in organized crime in the UK: A network study

    Paolo Campana and Federico Varese

    2. Violence brokers and super-spreaders: how organised crime transformed the structure of Chicago violence during Prohibition

    Chris M. Smith and Andrew V. Papachristos

    3. Come at the king, you best not miss: criminal network adaptation after law enforcement targeting of key players

    Giulia Berlusconi

    4. Cryptomarkets and the returns to criminal experience

    Marie Ouellet, David Décary-Hétu and Andréanne Bergeron

    5. Criminal achievement, criminal self-efficacy, and the criminology of Carlo Morselli: suggestions for continuing and extending a fruitful line of inquiry

    Timothy Brezina and MariTere Molinet

    6. Assessing variation in co-offending networks

    David Bright, Chad Whelan and Marie Ouellet


    Rémi Boivin is Associate Professor at the School of Criminology of the Université de Montréal, Cananda. Prof. Boivin’ focus on crime analysis led him to the study of co-offending and mobility, for which he used social network perspectives and techniques. His doctoral dissertation was co-supervised by Prof. Carlo Morselli.

    David Décary-Hétu is Associate Professor at the School of Criminology of the Université de Montréal, Canada. Through his innovative approach, Prof. Décary-Hétu studies how offenders adopt and use technologies, and how that shapes the regulation of offenses, as well as how researchers can study offenders and offenses.