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Utility of Country Structure: A Cross-National Multilevel Analysis of Property and Violent Victimization

NCJ Number
International Criminal Justice Review Volume: 20 Issue: 1 Dated: March 2010 Pages: 35-55
Rachel E. Stein
Date Published
March 2010
21 pages
Using data from the International Crime Victimization Survey and the European Survey on Crime and Safety, this study examined the relationship of structural opportunities and individual activities/lifestyles on victimization across 47 countries.
Routine activities and lifestyle theories focus on the opportunities that lead to victimization experience. Routine activities theory considers a micro- and macro-level approach to understanding victimization, which suggests the utility of this theory in cross-national research. However, few cross-national studies applying a routine activities framework address both the individual and structural levels of analysis. Additionally, much research adhering to this theoretical perspective does not distinguish between instrumental and expressive crimes. Because of these limitations, the full explanatory value of the theory has not been adequately explored. In this study, the author focuses on a cross-national multilevel analysis of violent and property victimization across 47 developed and developing nations. The author uses the International Crime Victimization Survey (ICVS) and the European Survey on Crime and Safety (EU ICS) for individual-level measures and incorporates information on country structure from sources including the United Nations, World Bank, and the International Labor Organization. The results indicate individual-level measures of routines and lifestyles are differentially related to expressive and instrumental victimization, and these relationships maintain significance when structural opportunity measures are considered. Moreover, the measures of structural opportunity as captured by the level of development, sex ratio, and female employment are differentially associated with violent and property victimization. Tables and references (Published Abstract)