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Sven-Åke Lindgren

About Sven-Åke Lindgren

SVEN-ÅKE LINDGREN Professor, BA at Lund University 1986 and PhD in Sociology at the University of Gothenburg 1993. The title of his thesis is The Menacing Pleasure. Establishing Drug Use as a Social Problem 1890 to 1970 (in Swedish with an English summary). Lindgren was postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Gothenburg 1995 to 2001 and became Docent (Associate Professor) in 1998. He became Senior Lecturer in 2002 and was promoted to Professor in June 2007.

Management positions and assignments Lindgren was Head of Department from September 2002 to December 2005, and he was Pro-Dean at the Faculty of Social Sciences 2006 to June 2012. He has been a member of the programme group of Criminal Sciences at the National Research Council 2001-2003 and is since 2007 a member of the Scientific Council at the National Council for Crime Prevention. He is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Journal of Scandinavian Studies in Criminology and Crime Prevention. Lindgren is since July 2011 chairman of the steering group of the Urban Safety and Societal Security Research Centre (URBSEC) - a shared mission between University of Gothenburg and Chalmers University of Technology, and he represents the University of Gothenburg in the steering group of Security Arena Lindholmen, a platform for cross-disciplinary collaboration between industry companies, universities and public sectors.

Specialist fields Primary objects of research interest are claims-making processes (social problems), white-collar crimes and general criminological issues of crime, crime policy and crime prevention. Methodological questions in different traditions of qualitative methods are another area of interest.

Current research Lindgren has received external grants for eleven research projects. Amongst them are Economic Crime – a Social Problem with Obstacles (the Swedish Central Bank), Financial Intermediates and White-Collar Crime (the National Research Council) and Juvenile Fire Setting – Causes and Preventive Actions (the Swedish Fire Protection Association). Current projects are focused on juvenile fire setting, school shootings and issues of the local safety and crime development.

Teaching and tutoring Lindgren lectures and supervises in criminology, sociology of law and qualitative methods, mainly on second-cycle and third-cycle courses and study programmes. He has supervised six PhD-students in Sociology through to completion examination and been assistant supervisor for one more.

Selected publications The Menacing Pleasure. Establishing Drug Use as a Social Problem 1890 to 1970 (diss., Stockholm/Stehag 1993 (in Swedish with English summary).


On Crime and Punishment. From the Classics of Sociology to Modern Criminology, Lund 1998 (book in Swedish).



“Economic Crime in Sweden: An Essentially Contested Issue”, Criminal Justice, 2002, Vol. 2(4): 363-383.


“Social Constructionism and Criminology: Traditions, Problems, and Possibilities”, Journal of Scandinavian Studies in Criminology and Crime Prevention, 2005, Vol. 6: 4-22.


“Grounded Theory – an unfinished project”, Sociologisk Forskning, 2006/1: 51-70 (in Swedish with English Abstract).

Lindgren et al. Juvenile Fire-Setting – Causes and Countermeasures, The Swedish Fire Research Board, 2013 (in Swedish with English Abstract).