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12 Homicide Stud. 3 (2008)

handle is hein.journals/homcst12 and id is 1 raw text is: 





                                                                      February 2008 3-6
                                                                  © 008 ag Pblitions
Homicide in an International
                                                                             hosted at
Context                                                           http://onlinecsagepub.com

Guest Editor's Introduction

William  Alex  Pridemore
Indiana University




T   his special issue of Homicide Studies is devoted to theoretical and empirical top-
    ics associated with homicide in an international context. In the call for articles
for this special issue, we were purposely broad in scope stating that submissions
might  include cross-national studies, studies comparing two (or a similarly small
number  of) nations, detailed analyses of homicides in individual nations, meta-
analyses or reviews, and brief summaries  of homicide  in individual countries or
regions rarely examined in the empirical literature. The call for articles was adver-
tised widely across multiple disciplines, professional organizations, and interna-
tional groups.
   As the guest editor of this special issue, I admit disappointment at the lack of cover-
age of a few important nations and regions. On the other hand, I am very pleased with
the scholarship included here. The order of the articles in the issue is no accident, rep-
resenting a general to specific trend. The first three articles are cross-national in their
coverage, the next two are country-specific empirical analyses, and the final three are
country-specific in nature but represent exploratory studies. Although the latter research
note type articles did not formally test hypotheses, I found them compelling. Their
inclusion allowed me to highlight the work of three more scholars and to reveal initial
research from areas of the world not often represented in homicide research.
   In the first article, Bye examines an independent variable and employs a method that
are both relatively rare in U.S. studies of homicide. In her study, she used time-series
analysis to study the association between alcohol consumption and homicide  rates
(overall and sex-specific) in six eastern European nations. To see how the association
may  vary across countries with different drinking patterns, she pooled estimates into
two groups of countries with more and less hazardous drinking patterns. She found that
annual changes in estimates of alcohol consumption were positively and significantly
associated with homicide rates and that the association was stronger in countries with a
more hazardous  drinking pattern. She concludes that a reduction in alcohol consump-
tion in eastern European countries would lead to a reduction in homicide rates.
   In their article, Jacobs and Richardson provide a cross-national test of Blau and
Blau's theory concerning economic inequality and homicide rates. The authors point
out that empirical studies have largely ignored the cumulative effects of inequality.


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