Abstract for: Theorizing About Crime: Elements for a Contribution of System Dynamics to Criminology

Customary theories of crime follow a cause-and-effect view, that is, crime is explained as a function of various weighted factors. This causal bias is prevalent across supposedly dissimilar theories of crime. Moreover, these theories tend to be universalistic: they seek to explain crime independently of context; crime is supposed to be causally produced in the same way in the United States, Colombia, Norway or Namibia. Moreover, such universality is constant across time, the causes of crime are the same one hundred years ago and today. A system dynamics conceptualization can contribute a different view. Here we show the possibility of having dynamic theories of crime, that is, theories based on feedback structures that explain complex patterns of behavior. Moreover, we also show the prospect of developing indigenous theories according to particular societal environments. The paper illustrates these points with a possible theory of crime for the Colombian society. The benefits of such an approach are discussed