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visiting scholars

Prof Eugene Trivizas

Email: e.trivizas@reading.ac.uk







Eugene Trivizas was born in Athens, Greece. He received his LL.B degree at Athens University in 1969 In 1972 passed the Athens Bar examinations and in the same year he was called as a barrister to the Athens Bar. In 1973 he received a B.Sc. degree in Politics and Economics from the University of Athens and the following year he received an LL.M degree in Comparative Criminal Law and Procedure from the University of London (University College) and a diploma in Shipping Law from the City of London Polytechnic. In 1977 he was made a Fellow of the Salzburg seminar in American studies and in 1979 he was awarded his Ph.D. degree in Criminology from the University of London (.London School of Economics and Political Science, Law Department). He is now a Visiting Professor of Criminolology at the University of Reading.


Since 1978 Prof. E.. Trivizas had have been responsible for the teaching of criminology penology and comparative criminal justice in the Department of Sociology at the University of Reading. In 1988 he has been awarded the titles of Director of Criminal Justice Studies and Senior Research Fellow. 

During the past years Prof. Trivizas also taught 'History of Sociological Theory' at ''Sociology of Modern Societies'' at the University. of Reading He also taught Criminology and Penology on a part-time basis at the Polytechnic of Central London,the London School of Economics (Law Department 1983-4 ) and at the Pantion University of Greece.

At the postgraduate level, he taught part of the MA course, 'Morals, Law and Elites in Contemporary Society', an option in the University of Reading MA course in Sociology and the course 'Comparative Criminology' in the Graduate School of European and International Studies and in the MA degree in Criminal Justice. Since 1982, he has been supervising candidates for the degree of PhD and acting as one of the internal examiners for Ph.D students.


Prof. Trivizas was one of the first academics to complete a systematic study of crowd disorders in England and their implications for the British system of criminal justice. He studied (a) the crowd participants and their interaction with the Police and (b) the attitude of the courts to them. This involved studying the problems deriving from football crowds, political demonstrations and pop festivals in the Metropolitan Police Area. In order to undertake the above research I was attached to the Metropolitan Police Department (New Scotland Yard) for two years and spent a considerable amount of time in the Statistics Branch (Z10) and the Operations Branch (A8) at Scotland Yard in the Police Records Office at Peel House and in eight London Police stations. In the course of my research I was given complete access to the records of police and courts. 

The Home Office and Scotland Yard gave him permission to participate in various types of police activities. I was able to accompany police officers in their crowd control and observation duties and to attend the briefing of police officers and the interviewing of offenders in the police stations. 

He used his findings to make a comparative analysis of political and football crowd disorders in London - the first comparative empirical study in this field. He followed up this study of police and crowd behaviour with a detailed investigation of the ways in which offenders arrested as a result of various forms of crowd disorder were prosecuted and sentenced by the courts. In particular he was able to demonstrate the high degree of prosecutorial discretion available to the police as a result of the existence of the many overlapping statute and common law offences, and to show how this affects police policy with regard to prosecuting. He was further able to show that similar events occurring in a variety of different types of crowd disorder were regarded very differently by the courts and were the subject of major discrepancies in sentencing. 

He has also published extensively on many aspects of criminology, the sociology of deviance, the human right implications of the electronic monitoring of offenders and has written about censorship on a comparative basis. 

His last study, published in the British Journal of criminology deals with on of the most controversial issues in modern criminal justice policy, that of general deterrence.

The underlying assumption of general deterrence theory and associated policy, is that individuals calculate the risk involved and refrain from criminal activity, because of the fear of punishment. Opponents of general deterrence, on the other hand, dispute the thesis that the potential criminals calculate risks in rational manner and that the perception of the danger that they will be apprehended and punished for their misbehaviour, has any significant deterrent effect. 

The issue of the deterrence is notoriously difficult to research, because of the methodological and ethical problems involved Rarely researchers are presented with the opportunity to find the right circumstances to conduct research on this issue.. Dr. Trivizas study takes advantage of such an opportunity: The incidents of terrorist bombs in railway stations and the publicity. His hypothesis was that in periods immediately following publicised terrorist incidents in railway stations, the number of cases of stolen luggage, will be lower compered to the number of cases of stolen luggage in other periods preceding and following such incidents. This hypothesis was based on the assumption that potential thieves will be less likely to commit offences of luggage theft in periods immediately following publicised terrorist incidents, because of their fear that: a)) Higher police vigilance following such incidents increases the chances of them being apprehended. b) The luggage may contain explosives and thus endanger their lives, by stealing it. If therefore deterrence assumption are valid, one should expect a reduction of luggage thefts in periods following publicised terrorist incidents. 

His research on theft of luggage covered all three aspects of general deterrence: a) probability of sanctions, i.e.. perceived certainty of arrest (due to extra police vigilance) b) celerity of sanctions and c) severity of sanctions. (the potentially lethal effects of stealing a piece of luggage containing explosives) 

The analysis of his data showed that in the periods immediately following a terrorist incident there was a sharp, if short lived decline in the number of cases of luggage theft. This indicates that either police vigilance or the fear that the items may contain explosives have had a deterrent effect. 

He is currently working on project concerning the offence of verbal abuse His hypothesis is that the insults used by members of various social groups reflect (indeed they are an inverted picture) of the fundamental values held dear by those groups. ( such as intelligence, moral character, patriotism, masculinity, honesty etc.) The insults and therefore the values they reflect would differ (1) diachronically, (2) from country to country and (3) among various social groups. That is persons of different sex, age, race social class, nationality etc. would use different categories of words to insult each other because their value systems would be different .Therefore research in this area provides a useful way to study values in society. (both differences in values and changing values) Another part of the research will be a study of verbal assault as precursor to physical assault.


Prof. Trivizas has published many books on literature and he is one of Greece's leading writers for children . He has produced more than a hundred books of enduring popularity, all of them currently in print, that are enjoyed as much by grown ups as by children and he has received more than twenty national and international literary prizes and awards.

Reviewers have described him as 'a miracle worker who brings to life a whole new world 'and as 'the author who with a distinctive combination of lyricism and surrealism, humour and poetic imagination has revitalised the whole of our children's literature. 

Much of E.Trivizas work has been transferred to the stage and serialised for television as well as the radio. He is currently the most frequently performed writer of plays for children in Greece, In 1986 his play ''THE CARECROW''was placed on the International Board on Books for Young People's "Honour List" and awarded a Diploma for excellence in writing, His first book for children published in the English language was ''The three little wolves and the big bad pig (1993) The English ''Economist'' wrote about this book that ''only the most talented of writers can tamper with a classic nursery tale and produce something almost as amusing and thought-provoking as the original. ''The three little wolves'' has reached the second place in the American best seller list for picture books, has won many distinctions (including A.L.A. notable book and A.S.L.J. Best book , and the ''Parents Choice Amazing Accomplishment Award'') and has been translated in fifteen languages including Japanese, Korean, and Chinese. The book that has sold one million copies in USA alone has caused an international debate about the stereotypes of evil in children's literature (see relevant entries in the Internet)


In 1997 E. Trivizas won the first stage of a legal battle against Coca-Cola, preventing the multinational company from registering in Greece the title of his T.V. serial and comic-strip books ''Fruitopia'' as a trade mark for soft drinks. The court decided that Coca-Cola has unlawfully appropriated his intellectual property. Coca-cola appealed against the decision and in December 1999 the relevant court of appeal ruled once again in his favour prohibiting the use of his intellectual property as a trademark for soft drinks. Dr. Trivizas plans to pursue his case beyond Greece an he would appreciate any help in this matter.


'Football crowd events in the Metropolitan Police Area', The Kingston Law Review, vol.9, No.3, December 1979.

'British Prisons', The Lancet, 5 April 1980, vol.I, 1980 (editorial)

'Offences and offenders in football crowd disorders', The British Journal of Criminology, vol.20, No.3, July 1980.

'Sentencing the football hooligan', The British Journal of Criminology, vol.21, No.4, October 1981.

'The Drugs-Crime Connection', International and Comparative Law Quarterly, October 1982.

'Crowd Dynamics and the prevention and control of crowd disorders', The Police Journal, April-June 1983, vol. LVI, No.2.

'Crime, Justice and Underdevelopment', Reviewing Sociology, vol.2, June 1983.

'Public order in the twentieth century: a study in the exercise of Police Prosecutorial Discretion', Police and Policing, The Past and Present Society, Oxford 1983.

Types of incidents and selection of charges in disturbances associated with football matches', The British Journal of Criminology, vol.24, No.4, October 1984.

'Tactics of legal reform: learning from the recent past', The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, vol.25, No.l, February 1986.

'Pornography in Greece', in International Aspects of Pornography, Greenwood Press (1988)

The influence of cultural developments on sport and violence, Proceedings of the first European Congress on Violence Control in the World of Sport, 1989 (with C.H. Davies)

Legal sanctions against Football Hooligans : Dangers and problems. Proceedings of the first European Congress on Violence Control in the World of Sport, 1989

Aidos and depravity: A comparative study of responses to Pornography in Greece and England and Wales, Annales Internationales de Criminologie, Vol. 28 - No 1 and 2, Annee 1990 (With Ch. Davies), pp 67-94

The strange revival of the censorship of obscenity in the media in Britain In Franco- British Studies, No 9, Spring 1990, 43-53.

The behaviour of football supporters, Cultural attitudes and cultural responses, Colloquium paper 67/90 (7) European University Institute, Florence, 1990

A Comparative Historical Model for Analyzing Disagreements about Penal Policy Discussion Papers in European and International Social Science Research, No 50, Reading, University of Reading Graduate School of European and International Studies 1991, pp 32. (with C. Davies)

Disagreements About Penal Policy. Basic Sentiments And Public Argument Volume In Honour Of E. Dascalakis, Pantion University Press , Athens 1992, pp 631-651 (with C. Davies)

The Perfect Panopticon: The Electronic Monitoring of Offenders and the Criminal Justice System. Chroniques Penal, Laboratoire de Criminologie et de Psyciatrie Legale, Faculte de Droit, Universite de Thrace, December 1993 pp. 19 -52 (with C. Davies)

The Temptations of Censorship. In International Alliance of Women Annals, A. Yotopoulos (Ed.) Women's Rights, Human Rights, 1994, ( pp. 248-264) ( with C. Davies)

A Neo Paretian Model Of Discourse About Penal Policy. Revue Europeenne Des Sciences Sociales, Universite De Lausanne, Tome XXXII , No 99 pp, 1994, 147 - 167 ( with C. Davies)

Entry on A A Milne in Steven H Gale (eds) Encyclopaedia of British Humorists, New York, Garland 1996 vol 2 (L-W) pp 770-5 and 1113-8. (with C.Davies)

The deterrent effect of terrorist incidents on the rates of luggage theft in railway and underground stations The British Journal of Criminology, VOL. 37, NO. 1, WINTER 1997 (with D. Smith)

The failure of calendar reform (1922-1931) Religious minorities, Businesmen, Scientists and Bureaucrats. Journal of Historical Sociology. Vol 12, No 3, September 1999 pp 251-270 (with C. Davies)

Sadomasochism and consent in the criminal law In Nestor Kourakis and Nico Kolouris (eds) Anti-crime policy vol 11in series Pinika (Penal Matters) Athens, Sakulas (written in English - Translated into Greek - expected 2000) (with C. Davies)

The Collapse of the National Morality and National Moral Boundaries of Small Peripheral Countries: not Globalisation but the Imposition of Liberty, ProtoSociology, vol 15. 2001,pp 216-231 Special volume on a Sociology of Borderlines: Social Process in a Time of Globalization (with C, Davies)

The Collapse of the Moral Boundaries of Peripheral Countries in Gerhard Preyer and Mathias Boes Borderlines in a Globalized World, New Perspectives in a Sociology of the World System Dordrecht, Kluwer 2002 (Reprint of previous article)

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Last Published 08 August 2003