Founded in 2022, the Institute is an intellectual home for the study of illegal, informal and criminal dynamics of power in the broader social context. Researchers at the Institute draw on insights from social and cultural psychology, sociology, political science and criminology to examine how structural and psychological factors may interact across countries and societies. The Institute produces leading research on various criminal, illegal and extra-legal actors and practices, focusing on fundamental scientific problems and applied areas. We address topics such as organized crime, political violence, vigilantism, and criminal governance.
Complex problems can rarely be addressed without insights from multiple disciplinary backgrounds and perspectives. The Institute supports interdisciplinary collaborations among Faculty from Royal Holloway and with other Academic Institutions and Research Centres globally. The Institute’s mandate is to foster a dialogue between social scientists, policy-makers and other stakeholders, nationally and internationally.
The Institute promotes cutting-edge research using quantitative methodologies. We host workshops and training events to foster open science practices and enhance quantitative education and training among Staff and Research Students.
The Institute currently hosts the project Secret Power, awarded a 2021 European Research Council StG grant (€1,499,818.00; funded by UKRI) to investigate the legitimization of criminal governance across countries. Additional information about the project is available here.
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