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Theories & Theorists for Criminal Justice & Security: Introduction


In this guide, you will find resources to help you identify relevant theories and theorists for research in Criminal Justice & Security.

The Reference Resources page includes links to useful sources you can browse to begin to understand which theories are typically utilized in this subject area, as well as find information on specific theories.

The Criminal Justice & Security Theories and Criminal Justice & Security Theorists pages, on the other hand, contain lists of specific theories and theorists that are associated with this subject area.  It is important to understand that these lists are by no means comprehensive and that you should supplement the information you find here by performing additional searches for theories and theorists. 

The Theorists & Theories Guide has more general information on searching for theories and theorists.

General Search Tips

If you are browsing for theories in databases, try entering one or more search terms for your topic into the first search boxes and then entering theor* in a separate search box. The asterisk in this search term makes it a truncated search and it will return results for all variations of that root word (e.g. theory, theorist, theoretical, etc.).

If you have a specific theory in mind, it is usually best to search for the exact name of the theory in quotation marks (i.e. "evolutionary theory of institutional change"). Placing the name of the theory in quotation marks tells the database to return results containing that exact phrase, as opposed to the individual words. 

Another good strategy is to search for the theorist's name (i.e. Veblen, Thorstein). You can do this in a stand-alone search or in conjunction with the name of the specific theory.