Projects per year
Laura Piacentini PhD, FRSE, Fellow Academianet
BA Sociology (2:1 Honours), MA Criminology (First Class, University of Keele), PgDip Russian Language (University of Strathclyde) and PhD Criminology & Sociology (University of Wales, Bangor).
I am a Criminologist and prison Sociologist. My work, broadly defined, is concerned with punishment and society studies.
I am a founding member of the cluster Criminal and Social Justice at the School of Social Work and Social Policy. I am also Associate Director of the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research and University of Strathclyde Lead with Dr Beth Weaver. www.sccjr.ac.uk
I am the Co-Ed-in-Chief of the leading Criminology journal, Criminology & Criminal Justice.
In 2014 I was appointed a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and a Fellow of Academianet, which is the EU Research Fellowship established by the Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel to recognise and support the research leadership of European Women Scholars.
Expertise & Capabilities
- Global Criminology
- Criminal Justice
- Sociology and Social Policy
- Prisons and Russian prisons
- International penal reform
- Gender and imprisonment
- Prison ethnography and qualitative research methods
- Human rights in prisons
I have taught Criminology for over twenty years and am currently the only Professor of Criminology at the University. I have developed expertise across a wide range of criminological subject areas at under-graduate and Masters levels. I have supervised dozens of post-graduate students in Criminology.
I lead on all Criminology teaching at the School of Social Work and Social Policy where Criminology is integrated into first, second and third year social policy modules. In development is a new MSc in Criminology and Social Policy, which will be taught by a range of staff with expertise in Criminology and Criminal Justice at the School.
I can supervise Criminology PhDs and applications for a PhD are welcomed in the following areas: criminology, sociology, prison sociology, international criminal justice systems, Russian criminal justice policy and gender and criminal justice.
Research: I am the first Westerner to conduct theoretical and empirical research in Russian prisons and I am recognised, through publications, impact, elite grant capture and academic awards as a world leading Criminologist. I have been publishing in the area of contemporary Russian imprisonment for nearly twenty-five years, having lived and conducted research in numerous prisons. I am trained Russian speaker.
All of my work is multi-disciplinary and involves substantial leadership of international teams involving the subjects of sociology, Russian Area Studies, history, human rights and political science. I am committed to radical, feminist, creative and theoretically informed research methods.
I have been PI or Co-I on many grants and have completed two major ESRC studies on Russian prisons: Prison Labour in Post-Soviet Prisons (1997-2001), and the first major study into women’s imprisonment in Russia in 2011, funded by the ESRC (with Professor Judith Pallot (Oxford) and Dr Dominique Moran (Birmingham)).
ESRC 2018 - 2021 Principal Investigator (circa £735k). The study, 'In the Gulag's Shadow: Producing, Consuming and Perceiving prisons in the Former USSR', is the first study of its kind in world Criminology. The team includes Dr Gavin Slade (Lead Co-I and Associate Professor, University of Nazarbayev, Astana, Kazakhstan); Professor Elena Olmenchenko (Professor of Sociology, Higher School of Economics, St Petersburg), and Professor Alexei Trochev (Professor of Criminology, University of Nazarbayev, Astana, Kazakhstan).
AHRC and MRC 2018 - 2020 Co-Investigator (circa £180k): 'The Right to Health in Brazilian and Scottish Prisons' (AHRC and MRC), Professor Sally Haw (PI).
Leverhulme 2015 -2017 Principal Investigator (circa £45k): ‘Towards a Sociology of rights consciousness amongst Russian prisoners’ with Dr Elena Katz at the University of Oxford. See http://prisonersrightsrussia.org.uk
ESRC 2012 – 2014 Co-Investigator (circa £206k): ‘Regulating Justice: The dynamics of compliance and breach in criminal justice social work in Scotland’ with Dr Monica Barry (Law, PI) and Dr Beth Weaver (Social Work and Social Policy, Co-I).
ESRC 2006- 2010 Co-Investigator (circa £253k): 'Women in the Russian Penal System: The role of distance in the theory and practice of imprisonment in late Soviet and post-Soviet Russia' with Professor Judith Pallot (Oxford, PI) and Dr Dominique Moran, University of Birmingham, Co-I).
Knowledge Exchange: I have advised the United Nations and NGOs on subjects that include forced labour in prisons and Russian political prisoners and asylum seekers. I have advised the Scottish Parliament on rehabilitation in prisons. I have given papers at diverse Universities including the Universities of Harvard, The Higher Education Institute of Smolensk and Moscow State University. In 2012, I taught at the Central European University, Budapest.
Book Awards: My first book, Surviving Russian Prisons: Punishment, Politics and Economy in Transition won the British Society of Criminology Book of the Year award in 2005. My second book (co-authored with Professor Judith Pallot (Oxford) titled Gender, Geography and Punishment: the Experience of Women in Carceral Russia, won the Heldt Prize for book of the year at the American Association of Slavonic Studies and was nominated for the Book of the Year 2013 by Pushkin House London and the Davis Centre at Harvard University
Article Awards: Theoretical Criminology with Gavin Slade, Article of the Year, 2016, 'Architecture and Attachment: Carceral Collectivism and the problem and prison reform in Russia and Georgia.
In preparation is Prison Netnography and Human Rights in Russian Prisons. Routledge (co-authored with Dr Elena Katz).
Doctor of Philosophy, Bangor University
Bachelor of Arts, UNIVERSITY OF STRATHCLYDE
Master of Arts, Keele University
Bachelor of Arts, Glasgow Caledonian University
Fellow, "AcademiaNet" - for Leading Women Scholars in the EU, established by Germany's Chancellor, Angela Merkel1 Jun 2013 → …
Fellow, Royal Society of Edinburgh15 Mar 2013 → …
Adjunct Professor in Criminology , Queensland University of Technology1 Jan 2013 → …
Research Associate, Centre for Criminology, University of Oxford5 Mar 2006 → 1 Jan 2010
Research Output per year
Research output: Book/Report › Other report
The virtual reality of Russian prisons: the impact of social media on prisoner agency and prison structure in Russian prisonsPiacentini, L. & Katz, E., 1 Jun 2018, In : Oñati Socio-Legal Series. 8, 2, p. 183-204 22 p.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article
Laura Piacentini (Recipient), 15 Feb 2016
Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)
Activities per year