In this paper we examine the use of science and expertise in crime control policymaking. Based on a qualitative research study of decision-making processes at the cabinet of Minister of Justice Marc Verwilghen (1999-2003), we will argue that crime control policymaking is essentially an expert game. Policy choices made by a Minister of Justice do not simply reflect party-political ideologies and interests, but they cannot be understood as the outcome of the facts, objective research reports, judicial knowhow or any straightforward translation of scientific findings either. Policy choices are processes of knowledge creation, and in these processes “expertise” is continuously selected, evaluated, and categorized. Our findings suggest that trust and a shared understanding of policy issues play a crucial role in the mobilization of expertise.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 24 Apr 2019
EventCriminology and Democratic Politics: on the occasion of the conferral of a doctorate honoris causa to Prof. dr. Richard Sparks (University of Edinburgh) - Faculty of Law, Leuven, Belgium
Duration: 24 Apr 201925 Apr 2019


ConferenceCriminology and Democratic Politics
Internet address

    Research areas

  • politics, crime control, democracy

ID: 45506613