Skip to main content

American Bar Foundation Scholar John Hagan Wins 2009 Stockholm Prize in Criminology

February 5, 2009, Press releases

Sociologist’s work has captured scope of Darfur genocide


American Bar Foundation research professor John Hagan has won the 2009 Stockholm Prize in Criminology for his pathbreaking research on genocide in the Balkans and Darfur.  The prize will be awarded at a banquet on June 23, in Stockholm, Sweden.  The Stockholm Prize in Criminology is awarded by an independent global jury “for outstanding achievements in criminological research or for the application of research results by practitioners for the reduction of crime and the advancement of human rights.” Hagan will share the prize with Raul Eugenio Zaffaroni of the Supreme Court of Argentina.  

Hagan, who holds a joint appointment at the ABF and as the John D. MacArthur Professor of Sociology and Law at Northwestern University, is also the Co-director of the Center on Law and Globalization. His work on estimating the death toll in the Darfur region of Sudan has re-defined the scope of this tragedy as genocide.  Through the use of advanced crime measurement techniques, sophisticated demographic methods, and drawing on actual interviews with victims of the atrocities, Hagan and his colleagues concluded that the murders have numbered between 200,000 and 400,000. Original U.S. State Department and the World Health Organization estimates had placed the number of murders in the tens of thousands. Hagan and his co-author, Alberto Palloni, first published their findings in the journal, Science, in 2006.

His full-length book, Darfur and the Crime of Genocide, with co- author Wenona Rymond-Richmond, a former ABF research associate and now a sociologist at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, was published by Cambridge University Press late in 2008. Hagan’s work also focuses on the law’s role in the redress of the crime of genocide, and examines the question of how the science of criminology can advance the understanding of and protection against genocide. His book, Justice in the Balkans (University of Chicago Press, 2003) is a social history of the international tribunal where Slobodan Milosevic, the late Serbian leader, was tried for war crimes for his role in the wars in Croatia, Bosnia, and Kosovo.  Hagan also studies the impact of youth crime on society and its links to childhood poverty. As a Guggenheim Fellow, Hagan studied the migration of American Vietnam war resisters to Canada that is described in the book, Northern Passage (Harvard University Press, 2001). Hagan’s research interests also include the sociology of the legal profession. He holds a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Alberta, Canada.

“We congratulate John Hagan on being recognized with this prestigious international award,” said Robert L. Nelson, director of the ABF. “But more importantly, we congratulate him on the work itself: His rigorous empirical research has done nothing less than fundamentally change the way the world has come to understand this global tragedy.” He added, “This prize calls attention to how the research initiatives of the American Bar Foundation promote justice and touch the lives of people around the world.”

« Return to Press releases

Site design by Webitects

© 2023 American Bar Foundation (
750 North Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60611-4403
(312) 988-6500
Contact Us
Contact the Fellows
Media Contacts
Privacy policy
Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in ABF publications are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Bar Foundation or the American Bar Association. The AMERICAN BAR FOUNDATION, ABF and related seal trademarks as used by the American Bar Foundation are owned by the American Bar Association and used under license.