John Hagan
Northwestern University, John D. MacArthur Professor of Sociology and Law

1812 Chicago Ave, Room 203
Evanston, Illinois 60208-1330, United States
Phone: (847) 491-5688
Areas of Practice
  • Civil Rights
  • Criminal Law
  • Government
  • International Law & Trade

Practice/Organization Description

John Hagan is John D. MacArthur Professor of Sociology and Law at Northwestern University and Senior Research Fellow at the American Bar Foundation in Chicago. He is the Editor of the Annual Review of Law & Social Science. His research with a network of scholars spans topics from causes of crime to war crimes and human rights. He is the author most recently with Alberto Palloni of “Death in Darfur,” which will appear in a September issue of Science.

Hagan developed an early interest in the social organization of subjective justice that is continued in his 2005 American Sociological Review article with Carla Shedd and Monique Payne on “Race, Ethnicity and Youth Perceptions of Criminal Injustice.”

His articles and book, Structural Criminology, present a power-control theory of crime and delinquency. This theory emphasizes the roles of patriarchical families and states in shaping patterns of criminality. The application of this theory is broadened in a 2005 Criminology article with Wenona Rymond-Richmond and Patricia Parker on the patrimonial patterning of genocide in Darfur. Power-control theory also plays a role in his research on lawyers and the legal profession, including his book with Fiona Kay on Gender in Practice and in work with Holly Foster in their 2001 American Sociological Review paper on “The End of Adolescence.”

Hagan’s Presidential Address to the American Society of Criminology underlined the role of poverty in crime. This theme is central to his research with Bill McCarthy on homeless youth for their book, Mean Streets. They most recently published a paper extending this work on “The Decision to Offend” in 2005 Social Forces.

As a Guggenheim Fellow, Hagan studied the migration of American Vietnam war resisters to Canada that is described in the book Northern Passage. Although these resisters saw themselves as observing principles established after World War II at Nuremberg, they nonetheless were liable to prosecution in the United States. This book documents the successful lives of these “new immigrant” resisters who received refuge in Canada, establishing benefits of humane immigration and refugee policies. Today many of these same issues confront American Iraqi war resisters seeking sanctuary and refuge in Canada.

Hagan’s recent work has focused on the international tribunal where Slobodan Milosevic was tried. His book, Justice in the Balkans, is a social history of The Hague Tribunal, and this project is further developed in 2006 Law & Society Review and Law & Social Inquiry articles with Sanja Kutnjak Ivokovic, Ron Levi and Gabrielle Ferrales. Hagan’s research continues to fuse crime and justice issues, examining the projection of human rights advocacy in an era characterized by the increasing perpetration of war crimes. His current work on Darfur argues that criminology has too long neglected crimes against humanity and genocide, “the crime of crimes.” A chapter in the 2006 Annual Review of Sociology with Heather Schoenfeld and Alberto Palloni outlines their argument for a public sociology of crime.


Ph.D., Sociology, University of Alberta, 1974

Specializations: (1) Deviance & Criminology; (2)

Sociology of Law; (3) Social Theory.

Fellow, Institute of Law & Behavioral Sciences, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Summer, 1972

M.A., Sociology, University of Alberta, 1971

B.A., Sociology, University of Illinois, 1968

Professional Associations & Memberships

President, American Society of Criminology, 1990-1991

Chair, Sociology of Law Section, American Sociological Association, 2001-2002

Inaugural Editor, Annual Review of Law & Social Science, 2003- [First Volume 2005]

Co-Editor, Law & Social Inquiry, 1999- (with Laura Beth Nielson)

Criminology Editor, Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Northwestern University School of Law, 1996-

Editorial Board, European Journal of Criminology, 2002-

Chair, Disparity Study Advisory Panel, U.S. Sentencing Commission, Washington, D.C. 1997-

Elected Member, Council of the Sociology of Law Section, American Sociological Association, 1997-

Editorial Board, Criminal Justice, 2000-

Editorial Board, Criminology, 1996-

Member, Editorial Advisory Board, Theoretical Criminology, 1996-

Editorial Board, Canadian Journal of Law & Society, 1986

Associate Editor, Canadian Journal of Criminology, 1995-

Associate Editor (Frank Munger, Editor) and Editorial Board Member, Law & Society Review, 1997-1981, 1992-1995

Additional associations and memberships available at

Honors and Awards

Albert J. Reiss Distinguished Scholar Award, Crime, Law & Deviance Section, American Sociological Association, 2003

Russell Sage Foundation Visiting Scholar, 2001-2002

The John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellow, 1997-1998

Edwin H. Sutherland Award, The American Society of Criminology, 1997

C. Wright Mills Award, Society for the Study of Social Problems, 1998 (with Bill McCarthy)

Michael J. Hindelang Award, American Society of Criminology, 1998 (with Bill McCarthy)

Appointed Member, Panel of Juevenile Delinquency, Prevention and Control, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C. 1997-1998

Killam Research Fellowship, The Canada Council, 1991-1993

Elected Fellow, Royal Society of Canada, 1988-

Appointed Member, Task Force on Gender Equality in the Legal Profession, Canadian Bar Association, 1991-1993

Elected Fellow, American Society of Criminology, 1985-

Distinguished Scholar Award, American Sociological Association, Section on Crime, Law and Deviance, 1989

Additional honors and awards available at

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