Comparative criminology & criminal justice research

I will provide the summary of the article and name of the article. there are three questions to be answered at a minimum of 150-200 words.

the questions are:
1. Had the research community started comparative research earlier, would 9/11 ever happen?
2. Why would it be important to understand the criminal justice system of other countries when studying crime?
3. Can a study belong to multiple dimensions?

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PLEASE answer them separately. not in a formal paper format.
just 3 answers at a minimum of 150-200 words.

the article name is:
Bennet, R.R. (2004) – Comparative Criminology and Criminal Justice Research

my professors summary is below, she followed this summary with the 3 questions stated above:
In the article ‘Comparative Criminology and Criminal Justice Research: The State of our Knowledge,’ Bennett addresses the importance of conducting comparative research on an international level. He mentions that such a necessity particularly grew after the 9/11 events (p.1). Why? For starters, it became clear that a plot or idea that was generated on one side of the world, could come and affect every one of us, thus disrupting our way of life. In the 90s, crime was generally analyzed confined within the territory that was occurring. In other words, a crime occurring in India was analyzed only within India and not how that crime might translate in the neighboring countries or beyond. In addition, many changes started to occur in the late 90s and forward. Globalization is one of them. People could travel more easily, communicate more efficiently, and the internet saw its inception. For the newer generation, a life without the internet is inconceivable. However, the development of such new technology also changed forever the criminal landscape.

In light of such drastic changes, researchers and academics had to revisit how they were analyzing crime. Clearly, the old ways were not efficient anymore since they would not be able to produce a clear understanding of what was occurring in the world. As Bennet states, it also became important to understand the criminal justice system of other countries. That alone was not enough because it became clear that other variables were at place. Culture, tradition, history, institutions became active participants in trying to understand the development of transnational crime, terrorism, or international crime. This multidimensional approach created the need for creating typologies of comparative studies. Why? Because given the wide range of the topic, producing research with a focus was important and easier. Researchers and academics could analyze crime from a comparative perspective through the focus of criminal justice, culture, urbanization, and so on.

Bennett proposes four different dimensions. The first dimension is Descriptive. According to Bennett, ‘these studies contribute to the comparative literature by documenting how different nations conduct the business of justice.’ (p.4) Why are these studies important? While criminology analyzes crime itself, studies in criminal justice analyze how we react to crime. Not all countries react to crime in an equal way, therefore, their reaction translated to punishment will be different. The studies within this dimension can be either descriptive or analytical. Descriptive studies are simply reporting how the situation is in country A, B, or C. Analytical studies within this dimension attempt to go a step further, however, the line between descriptive and analytical within this dimension can be sometimes very fine.

The second dimension is Scope. This particular dimension concerns itself with how many countries will be analyzed. Will it be national? Multinational? Transnational? While various factors might be analyzed within this dimension, the unit of analyzes remains the number of nations analyzed. Therefore, in general, these studies have a macro-analyzes perspective. The third dimension is Data. Is the study going to be qualitative or quantitative? Are we going to compare statistics? Bennett emphasizes that ‘although no descriptive studies employ quantitative methods, analytical studies-especially those that are multinational – almost always do’ (p.7). The fourth dimension is Design and Analysis. How are we collecting the data and how are we going to analyze the data collected? This is a very important dimension since data collection and meaning can vary greatly from country to country. Those differences need to be taken into account when analyzes are conducted. Why is this important? For example: if you are comparing homicide rates amongst different countries, some countries include attempted homicide cases others do not. Will it be important to mention that fact when you are doing the analysis?

Bennetts concludes his paper by listing possible benefits and impediments to conducting comparative research. While benefits can be many, I will focus for a moment on the possible impediments. Bennetts recognizes several:

Funding: It is always problematic to secure fundings for studies of such magnitude.
Access: How much access will you truly have to the data that you want to analyze? Especially the ones that deal with national security issues? In addition, reporting crime data is always a source of embarrassment for the country making the reporting.
Language: The data collected, must be translated and understood.
Reliability and Validity: How much do the data collected reflect the actual situation on the ground? What was the expertise level of the individuals collecting the data? In other words, how much could those data be trusted?
Publishing: You have the funding, the data, the analyses. The paper is ready to be published. Where are you going to publish it? Although this impediment was more pronounced in the past since there were very few peer-review journals dedicated to comparative studies, still more needs to be done on the matter.
As you see, there is much activity behind the creation of a comparative study. Bennett does a solid job of describing step-by-step what is involved. I have created a shortlist of questions for students to focus on. If during the reading of the paper, additional questions came to mind, please feel free to mention them.

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