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This research aims at a criminological analysis of the evolution(s) during the past 25 years of problematic and ''delinquent'' juvenile behaviour in Belgium. Obviously specific problematic juvenile behaviours, such as incivilities, antisocial behaviour or violence, became important focuses of concern in late modern (Belgian) criminal policy. Moreover, international and european research demonstrates dominant trends in European juvenile delinquency for this period (such as an increase of violent crimes). Ever since the nineties, European research has shown a changing morphology of juvenile delinquency cases. A vivid discussion is going on amongst scientists, practioners as well as policymakers on how this complex phenomenon can be understood. In Belgium however, there is no research thoroughly analysing and contextualizing these evolutions from a long-term perspective, neither from a quantitative point of view, nor from a qualitative one. Over the past few years, international and especially European research has seen an interesting change of course, from a more developmental psychological point of view (individualistic, offender-oriented) towards a more sociological approach, explicitly referring to the need of a (historic) long-term perspective. Until today no research was carried out to confront the Belgian situation with these European changes in juvenile delinquency. This research proposal joins the abovementioned research issue, which especially in Belgium, has not yet been investigated scientifically. The main research question of this project is: How did Belgian juvenile delinquent and problematic behaviour change and how can these changes be criminologically and socially understood as part of underlying social mutations? Therefore, this research aims at providing a criminological analysis of the long-term evolutions (1980-2005) in the delinquent and problematic behaviour of youngsters in Belgium.
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