Comparing and classifying OECD member states has provided a fruitful avenue for public policy research over many years (see for instance Espying-Andersen, 1990; Castles, 1998). The enhanced coverage of ICVS-5 means that for the first time comparable data relating to victimisation are available for those countries which have formed the mainstay of comparative research in other areas of public policy. There is strong reason to believe that the historical, political and cultural issues which it is argued have influenced the development of welfare states may also help explain variations in criminal justice outcomes across industrialised democracies (Cavadino and Dignan, 2006; Norris, 2007). Following the methodology of recent work in the comparative analysis of welfare systems (Obinger and Wagschal, 2001; Powell and Barrientos, 2004) this paper will consider country level victimisation rates from ICVS-5, using clustering techniques to identify groups of nations which exhibit similar levels and patterns of victimisation. It is argued that the clusters of nations present in the ICVS data reflect those found in other areas of social policy. Brief consideration is also given to how the application of typologies from social policy may suggest new questions, and provide new insights, to the study of comparative criminology.
- cluster analysis
- Families of Nations