Professor Kevin Stenson

Honorary Professor


Professor Stenson was Professor of Criminology at Buckinghamshire New University and Middlesex University, where he taught a wide range of courses in sociology and criminology, including sociological and criminological theory. He has long been an active member of the British Society of Criminology, serving as chair of the southern regional branch and on the national executive committee. He is a joint author of the UK QAA national benchmarks in criminology and is on the editorial boards of Critical Criminology journal and Criminal Justice Matters.

Research interests

Professor Stenson’s 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. His contribution to governance theory has been to try to shift away from a narrow emphasis on historical, archival work and the analysis of written texts towards more realist institutional analysis, employing a range of methods and data sources, including oral discourses. 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 friendship groups to paramilitary and `terrorist` organisations. He has undertaken a range of externally funded, policy oriented, empirical research. This has included: studies of young people’s perceptions and uses of public spaces, social work, probation and policing practice (including stop and search); the link between inter-ethnic conflict and policing; urban development and social order; the links between deprivation, crime and other social problems; the development and evaluation of community safety policies and practices; parent support programmes. 

Professor Stenson is currently involved in a study, organised from Brunel University by Professor Nicola Madge, on youth and religion, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Economic and Social Research Council. He is currently writing for publication on the themes of Crime Politics and Government and the interaction between governance from above and below. 


As first supervisor, Professor Stenson has taken eight students through to completion of their PhDs in the fields of criminology, sociology and social policy. He welcomes enquiries. 



  • Member of British Society of Criminology – served as chair of southern regional branch, the national executive committee and on the criminology benchmark committee. 
  • Member of the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies.

Most recent publications

  • Lippert, R. and Stenson, K. (2010) `Advancing Governmentality Studies: Lessons from social constructionism`, Theoretical Criminology, 14, 4:473-494. 
  • Stenson, K. (2010) Risk, Crime and Governance, in Martine Herzog-Evans (ed.) Transnational Criminology manual, volume 1, Nijmegen: Wolf Legal Publishers. 
  • Fletcher, R and Kevin 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.
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