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The Editor, Colin Sumner


Colin Sumner

LLB, LLM, MA, PhD.  Now finished with 'retirement' and delighted to be at University College Cork, in its Dept. of Sociology, over in the charming emerald isle. Formerly Professor of Criminology and Head/Dean of the School of Law, University of East London, 1995-2000. Lecturer in Sociology at the Institute of Criminology, and Fellow of Wolfson College, in Cambridge University from 1977 to 1995.

I have been Visiting Professor of Law at the Universities of Dar es Salaam and Victoria [Canada]; of Sociology at Queen’s, St. Mary’s, and Simon Fraser Universities in Canada, and the Chinese University of Hong Kong; of Criminology at Barcelona and Hamburg Universities; and a Visiting Research Fellow in Sociology of Law at the University of California at Berkeley.

Co-founded and edited Theoretical Criminology, the first global journal of criminology, published by Sage. Also edited The Blackwell Companion to Criminology and a book series called New Directions in Criminology [Open UP]. Associate or reviews editor on various international journals in the sociology of law, criminology and criminal law.

Fields: sociology of deviance, social theory, criminology, sociology of law, media studies, research methodology, and jurisprudence. Supervised 13 students to doctorates and over 130 M. Phil. dissertations. Director of the Cambridge M. Phil. in Criminology for 4 years, member of the Institute’s Management Committee for many more, an External Examiner at various universities, and an Assessor in Sociology and Social Policy for the Welsh Funding Council.

As Head/Dean of Law in East London, I led a multicultural School with over 1100 students and 50 staff in 2 countries, whilst also active on Academic Board, Professorial Designations Committee, International Marketing, and Research/Research Degree Committees. Created new degrees in Criminology there, and later at Salford University; developed and launched a School extension in Haifa, Israel, in partnership with a private college; and fostered a vibrant research culture in the School of Law with great results in subsequent Research Assessment audits.

Books written or edited: Reading Ideologies (1979), Crime, Justice and Underdevelopment (ed. 1982), Crime, Justice and the Mass Media (ed. 1982), Censure, Politics and Criminal Justice (ed. 1990), The Sociology of Deviance: an Obituary (1994), Social Control and Political Order (1997, ed. with Roberto Bergalli), Violence, Culture and Censure (ed. 1997), Policing in a Multicultural Democracy (ed. 2000) and The Blackwell Companion to Criminology (2004). Plus 30-odd articles and reviews, many now translated. Currently editing and publishing the Spanish translation of my 1994 book Sociologia de la Desviacion. In 2012, I will finally begin a book on Social Censure.


"It was but yesterday I thought myself a fragment quivering without rhythm in the sphere of life. 
Now I know that I am the sphere, and all life in rhythmic fragments moves within me.

They say to me in their awakening, 'You and the world you live in are but a grain of sand upon the infinite shore of an infinite sea.' 
And in my dream I say to them, 'I am the infinite sea, and all worlds are but grains of sand upon my shore.'"

(Khalil Gibran, Sand and Foam, 1926)


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