The Eurogang Project
Many thanks to Sarah Brown, one of
the outstanding students in my "Gang Phenomenon" class, for her helpful
As in the
United States, street gangs are an issue throughout the European community
and elsewhere. The Eurogang Project is a collaboration of European and
American researchers who have been meeting once a year since 1998 to
exchange information on the gang phenomenon. According to Esbensen (page),
the Eurogang Project has three primary objectives:
To build a
foundation of knowledge regarding the European socio-economic
conditions and institutional processes that foster or curtail
the social exclusion and subsequent emergence and
persistence/dissolution of youth gangs and problematic groups;
to construct an
infrastructure for comparative, multi-method, cross-national
research on youth violence in group contexts; and
and effectively utilize knowledge to inform the development of
effective local, national and international responses to
emerging youth crime and violence issues.
Project consists of six steering committee members including: Prof. Finn-Aage
Esbensen, Dr. Frank van Gemert, Prof. Cheryl Maxson, Dr. Frank Weerman, Dr.
Judith Aldridge, and Dr. Juanjo Medina. The Project is open to researchers
throughout the world who are interested in gang research. There have been
as many as one-hundred researchers representing as many as 15 countries who
have been involved in Eurogang Project related research.
page), at the first meeting of The Eurogang Project the following five
goals and main principles were established.
|The group is
committed to promoting systematic, empirical research on street
should be comparative by comparing gang to non-gang youth,
youth in multiple neighborhoods or communities, gang situations
in multiple cities and towns, and in multiple countries. |
|. . . (W)e
believe that building knowledge about gangs can best proceed
with a multi-method approach. We acknowledge the multiple
sources of important information and the need for broad,
descriptive approaches, as well as rich qualitative methods.
recognizes . . . the importance of separating street gangs from
other forms of law-violating youth groups, and to conduct
research to understand better the difference between them.|
|. . . (T)he
expansion of comparative, systematic research on street gangs
will produce information that can be beneficial for the
development of policy and programs.|
For additional information about the Eurogang Project,
the homepage of the organization as managed by Dr. Finn-Aage Esbensen of
the University of Missouri in St. Louis, Missouri, USA.
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