New chapter on the impact of social frontiers on crime rates


A new book in full open access has just been published. It is entitled Urban Inequality and Segregation in Europe and China: Towards a New Dialogue and it was edited by Gwilym Pryce, Ya Ping Wang, Yu Chen, Jingjing Shan and Houkai Wei.

The book brings together leading international researchers from Europe, USA and China- It offers fresh ideas, cutting edge methods and analysis through comparative studies. Moreover, it provides readers with access to self-study training materials and data.

Most importantly, there is a chapter written by our team member Ivana Křížková and Meng Le Zhang, Dan Olner, Gwilym Pryce entitled Social Frontiers: Estimating the Spatial Boundaries Between Residential Groups and Their Impacts on Crime.

What is the chapter about?

This chapter highlights the importance of social frontiers—sharp spatial divisions in the residential make-up of adjacent communities—as a potentially important form of segregation. The handful of studies estimating the impacts of social frontiers have been based in the USA and the UK, both of which are free-market democracies with a long history of immigration, ethnic mix and segregation. There are currently no studies of social frontiers in former socialist countries, for example, or in countries where immigration and ethnic mix are only a recent phenomenon or non-existent. This chapter aims to address this research gap by estimating the impacts of social frontiers on crime rates in a post-socialist country, Czechia. We demonstrate how a Bayesian spatial conditional autoregressive estimation can be used to detect social frontiers in this setting, and we use a fixed effect quasi-Poisson model to investigate the impact on crime. Our results suggest that in new immigration destinations, social frontiers may not be associated with higher rates of crime, at least in the short run. Moreover, our use of cultural distance measures helps to promote a more nuanced approach to studying the impact of segregation and highlights the role of cultural diversity in understanding the link between immigrant segregation and crime. We reflect on how this approach could contribute to the study of segregation and inequality in the Chinese context.

URRlab


Urban and Regional Laboratory

Department of Social Geography
& Regional Development

Charles University in Prague
Faculty of Science

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