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    For the occasion of the 40 th anniversary of the Netherlands’ Society of Criminology the author has analysed the Society’s archive and related the development of this professional organisation to the development of Dutch criminology in the period between 1974 and 2014. He distinguishes five turning points in this respect: between 1965 and 1974 we witnessed the emancipation of criminology as an autonomous discipline; the period 1978-1985 is characterised by a downfall of criminology at the universities; between 1992 and 1995 a period of restoration started, that is characterised by a focus on criminology’s policy-relevance; from 1999 to 2010 we can witness a recovery, in which academic criminology raised like a phoenix from its ashes; and from that time on we see the discipline broadening up again, in which the dominance of positivist research agendas is countered by a cultural criminology and a more critical attitude towards the production-oriented research policy in general. The bottom line is that the Society followed these trends imperceptibly: it was active when criminology did well and was ‘in rest’ when it did not. The article concludes with the question whether the Society has an active role to play in the public debate about the role of science and crime and punishment.


René van Swaaningen
René van Swaaningen is hoogleraar internationaal comparatieve criminologie aan de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam en voorzitter van de Nederlandse Vereniging voor Criminologie.
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