Crime as a cascade phenomenon

John Braithwaite*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)


    The Peacebuilding Compared project deployed South Asian data to conclude that war tends to cascade across space and time to further war, crime to further crime, war to crime, and crime to war. This article is an analytic sketch of crime as a cascade phenomenon. Examining crime through a cascade lens helps us to imagine how to more effectively cascade crime prevention. Like crime, crime prevention often cascades. Braithwaite and D’Costa (2018) show how peacemaking can cascade non-violence, how it cascades non-violent social movement politics, and vice versa. Seeing crime through the cascade lens opens up fertile ways of imagining macrocriminology. Self-efficacy and collective efficacy are hypothesised as catalysts of crime prevention cascades in such a macrocriminology. Australian successes with gun control and drunk driving point to the importance of explicitly connecting evidence-based microcriminology to a macrocriminology of cultural transformation. More structurally, building collective efficacy in families, schools and primary work groups may cascade collective efficacy into neighbourhoods and vice versa. The microcriminology of hot-spot policing might be elaborated into a macrocriminology of inkspots of collective efficacy that cascade and connect up.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)137-169
    Number of pages33
    JournalInternational Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2020


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