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Obituary

Obituary for Herman Bianchi (1924-2015)

Pieter Spierenburg

Full text document will be published online on December 2018.

First lines

Herman Bianchi, who died on December 30, 2015, was a remarkable criminologist in several ways. In this obituary I am concentrating on his interest in, and merits for, the history of crime and justice. Although his name may be unfamiliar to younger scholars outside the Netherlands, he was an active member of the “Dutch group” in the 1970s and participated in a number of workshops and conferences of the IAHCCJ in the 1980s. By then he already boasted a many-sided career. In 1956 he finished his PhD (which in the Netherlands usually was – and still is – a full-blown published monograph). Entitled Position and Subject-Matter of Criminology, it was also one of the rare English-language books by a Dutch practitioner of the social sciences at the time. Two years later he was appointed ‘lector’ and in 1961 professor of criminology at the Free University of Amsterdam.

When I first met him, I was ignorant about his person yet. It was in 1974, in the preparatory phase of my own PhD when I had l...

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