Xavier Rousseaux is Research Director FRS- FNRS (Belgium) and Professor at Université catholique de Louvain, University of Bruxelles and University of Luxembourg. He specializes in western history of crime and justice and leads several related research projects. He manages an international network on the history of Belgian justice, (1975-2015). He is a founding member of the journal Crime, Histoire et sociétés.
History of crime and justice; violence (standards, practices, societies); State building and criminal justice in North Western Europe; Politics and justice: occupation(s) and retribution.
Monuments ou documents ? Les comptabilités comme source pour l’histoire du contrôle social (XIIIe-XVIIIe siècle), co-ed., AGR, 2015.
Justices militaires et guerres mondiales (1914-1950), co-ed., Presses Universitaires de Louvain, 2013.
A history of crime and criminal justice in Europe, in Handbook of European Criminology, Routledge, 2013.
Un “long 19e siècle”. Banditisme, protestation populaire et violence dans les territoires belges (1750-1919), Revue Européenne d’histoire, 2013.
Némésis et Thémis : les transformations de la vengeance en Occident avec Aude Musin in La vengeance en Europe, Presses Universitaires de Paris-Sorbonne, 2015.
Part of a larger synthesis on history of crime and justice in Western Europe (13th-20th c.), the project will address the crucial period of the transformation of European criminal justice (1750-1950). The project seeks to link three problems often treated separately: state formation and the dynamics of contemporary society in its responses to crime; the extension of Western justice through the creation of colonial empires; and the experiences of brutalization that Europe suffered during the two world wars. These major developments in the State's ever-widening monopoly over the right to punish generated varied reactions on the part of individuals, groups and communities (resistance, instrumentalization, compromise and submission). The analyses will thus take into account the different scales of such interactions (national, regional, local) in four main lines of judiciary response to crime: Describing, prosecuting, judging and punishing crime and perpetrators. The work will analyze scientific debates and popular representations of crime in order to understand the functions of crime in society. In other words, the “criminal question” will serve as a means of observing the evolution of social cohesion in European societies.