The Department of Sociology of the University of Macau (UM) Faculty of Social Sciences recently held a criminology workshop series. During the event, experts and scholars from around the world exchanged ideas and had in-depth discussions on topics in criminology via Zoom. Organised and chaired by Prof Xu Jianhua, head of the Department of Sociology, a total of more than 700 people participated in the first three workshops of the series.

The first workshop held on 24 April, titled ‘How Did We Publish Our First Criminological Articles?: Sharing From Young Scholars’ featured five speakers, namely Prof Wang Peng from the University of Hong Kong (HKU), Prof Li Enshen from the University of Queensland, Prof Grace Mou from SOAS University of London, PhD candidate Zhang Ian from the Australia National University, and PhD candidate Eddie Wei from the University of Cambridge. Topics in the discussion included the motivation to complete the first research article, experiences in data collection, as well as the process of writing, submitting, and editing the article. Both Prof Xu and the speakers shared their experience in detail with the audience. 

Titled ‘The Art of Quantitative Criminology: Sharing from Distinguished Scholars’, the second workshop held on 15 May, featured four top Chinese criminologists, namely Prof Xie Min from the University of Maryland, Prof Zhang Lening from the Saint Francis University, Prof Liu Lin from the University of Cincinnati and Guangzhou University, and Prof Cai Tianji from UM. During the workshop, the speakers discussed the goals and development of criminological research in China and they all agree that Chinese criminologists should strive for publishing opportunities in top international academic journals. Prof Zhang as a pioneer in Chinese criminology expressed his high hopes for the next generation of Chinese criminologists. He believes that the young scholars should not only familiarise themselves with conventional Western theories and methodologies, but should also work towards building a paradigm of criminological theories that are tailored to the Chinese context through research studies conducted locally. 

The third workshop held on 5 June and was titled ‘Fieldwork in Criminology and Social Legal Studies’. Speakers in the workshop included Prof Chin Ko-lin from Rutgers University, Prof Sheldon Zhang from the University of Massachusetts Lowel, Prof Zheng Tiantian from the State University of New York Cortland, Prof He Xin from HKU, and Prof Liu Sida from the University of Toronto. The five speakers discussed how scholars conducting qualitative research can cope with the current performance evaluation system at many universities around the world. They also gave detailed advice to students in criminology and legal studies. 

The workshop series was well attended by scholars from the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan. Currently, the Department of Sociology is actively preparing for a follow-up series of criminology workshops on topics such as the study of hard-to-reach populations in criminological research, including police officers, offenders, and how to study organised crime.