Professor Richard Hobbs

Emeritus Professor
Department of Sociology and Criminology
Professor Richard Hobbs



Dick Hobbs came to academic work late having worked as an office boy, labourer, dustman and schoolteacher. He trained as a sociologist at the LSE and the University of Surrey before working at the Universities of Oxford and Durham, where he held Chairs in both Sociology and Law. He was Professor of Sociology at the LSE (2005-2011) before taking a post in the Sociology Department at Essex University (2011-2014), where he was Professor of Sociology and Director of the Criminology Centre. Dick Hobbs is an urban ethnographer specialising in the sociology of London, organised and professional crime, the night-time economy, violence, drug markets and research methodology. He has received grants, primarily from the ESRC, as well as from the Home Office, the Nuffield Trust and the EU. He has conducted a wide range of consultancies for government agencies and the mass media, and  presented evidence to the UK government on the night-time economy, and to a Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into Australian drug markets. He is editor of the Routledge Advances in Ethnography series.  The common thread that runs through this work is a commitment to sociological studies of urban life which emphasise the  role of the glocal political economy in shaping deviant cultures. rently working on a number of publications emerging from an ESRC funded study of the impact of the 2012 Olympics on the policing of a London borough. I am currently emeritus Professor at Essex, Professor of Sociology at the University of Western Sydney, and Associate Fellow of the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI). Honours - 1989  Philip Abrams Prize: Awarded by the British Sociological Association for  the best book published by a new author.Doing the Business: Entrepreneurship, the Working Class and Detectives in the East End of London, Oxford University Press, (1988 - 2003  Radzinowicz Prize: Awarded by the British Journal of Criminology.  Door Lore (BJC 2002).                                           - 2007  Life Changer Award:  Awarded by the University and Colleges Union “Changing People's Lives Through Education”.      - 2013  Outstanding Publication Award: International Association for the Study  of Organised Crime. Lush Life: Constructing Organised Crime in the UK.Oxford University Press, (2013) - 2015 Professor Emeritus, Department of Sociology University of Essex. - 2015 Associate Fellow, Royal United Services Institute (RUSI)       - 2016 Outstanding Achievement Award, British Society of Criminology   - 2016 Honorary Member, British Society of Criminology


  • B.Ed Lancaster,

  • MSc Sociology London School of Economics,

  • PhD University of Surrey,

Research and professional activities

Research interests

urban ethnography

the sociology of London

organised and professional crime

the night-time economy


drug markets

research methodology

Teaching and supervision

Previous supervision

Thomas William Davies
Thomas William Davies
Thesis title: Policing Gangs in London: Perceptions of the Process From Key Practitioners
Degree subject: Criminology and Socio-Legal Research
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 10/4/2018
Falko Alexander Ernst
Falko Alexander Ernst
Thesis title: From Narcotrafficking to Alternative Governance: An Ethnographic Study on Los Caballeros Templarios and the Mutation of Organized Crime in Michoacán, Mexico
Degree subject: Sociology
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 27/4/2016
Anna Sergi
Anna Sergi
Thesis title: The Socio-Legal Identity of Organised Crime Policing in England and in Italy
Degree subject: Sociology
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 23/7/2014


Journal articles (9)

Giulianotti, R., Armstrong, G., Hales, G. and Hobbs, D., (2015). Sport Mega-Events and Public Opposition: A Sociological Study of the London 2012 Olympics. Journal of Sport & Social Issues. 39 (2), 99-119

Giulianotti, R., Armstrong, G., Hales, G. and Hobbs, D., (2014). Global sport mega-events and the politics of mobility: the case of the London 2012 Olympics. The British Journal of Sociology

Hobbs, D. and Antonopoulos, GA., (2013). ?Endemic to the species?: ordering the ?other? via organised crime. Global Crime. 14 (1), 27-51

Fussey, P., Coaffee, J., Armstrong, G. and Hobbs, D., (2012). The regeneration games: purity and security in the Olympic city1. The British Journal of Sociology. 63 (2), 260-284

Armstrong, G., Hobbs, D. and Lindsay, I., (2011). Calling the Shots: The Pre-2012 London Olympic Contest. Urban Studies. 48 (15), 3169-3184

Antonopoulos, GA., Hobbs, D. and Hornsby, R., (2011). A Soundtrack to (illegal) Entrepreneurship: Pirated CD/DVD Selling in a Greek Provincial City. British Journal of Criminology. 51 (5), 804-822

Hales, G. and Hobbs, D., (2010). Drug markets in the community: a London borough case study. Trends in Organized Crime. 13 (1), 13-30

Mena, F. and Hobbs, D., (2010). Narcophobia: drugs prohibition and the generation of human rights abuses. Trends in Organized Crime. 13 (1), 60-74

Woodiwiss, M. and Hobbs, D., (2009). Organized Evil and the Atlantic Alliance: Moral Panics and the Rhetoric of Organized Crime Policing in America and Britain. British Journal of Criminology. 49 (1), 106-128

Books (6)

Carrabine, E., Cox, P., Fussey, P., Hobbs, D., South, N. and Thiel, D., (2014). Criminology: A Sociological Introduction (3rd Edition). Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group. 978-0-415-64080-0

Hobbs, D., (2013). Lush Life: Constructing Organized Crime in the UK. Oxford University Press. 9780199668281

Fussey, P., Coaffee, J., Armstrong, G. and Hobbs, D., (2012). Securing and sustaining the olympic city: Reconfiguring London for 2012 and beyond. 9780754679455

Hobbs, D., (2011). Ethnography in Context. Sage. 9781848600881

Downes, D., Hobbs, D. and Newburn, T., (2010). The Eternal Recurrence of Crime and Control: Essays in Honour of Paul Rock. Oxford University Press. 9780199580231

Hornsby, R. and Hobbs, D., (2008). Gun Crime. Ashgate. 9780754625858

Book chapters (9)

Hobbs, D., (2014). British Crime Firms. In: Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice. Editors: Bruinsma, G. and Weisburd, D., . Springer. 188- 194. 978-1-4614-5689-6

Hobbs, D. and Antonopoulos, GA., (2014). How to Research Organized Crime. In: The Oxford Handbook of Organized Crime. Editors: Paoli, L., . Oxford University Press. 9780199730445

Hobbs, D., (2012). It Was Never About the Money: Market Society, Organized Crime and UK Criminology. In: New Directions in Criminological Theory. Editors: Hall, S. and Winlow, S., . Routledge. 9781843929147

Hobbs, D. and Hobbs, S., (2011). A Bog of Conspiracy: The Institutional Evolution of Organized Crime in the UK. In: Routledge Handbook of Transnational Organized Crime. Editors: Allum, F. and Gilmour, S., . Routledge. 9780415579797

Hobbs, D., (2011). East End Entrepreneurship. In: Ethnography in Context. Editors: Hobbs, D., . Sage. 9781848600881

Hornsby, R. and Hobbs, D., (2011). The Social Organisation of the Pirated CD/DVD Market in a Provincial Greek City. In: Usual and Unusual Organising Criminals in Europe: Profitable Crimes, from Underworld to Upperworld- Essays in Honour of Petrus van Duyne. Editors: Antonopoulos, GA., Groenhuijsen, M., Harvey, J., Kooijmans, T., Maljevic, A. and von Lampe, K., . Maklu. 9789046604298

Hobbs, D., (2010). Extortion. In: Handbook on Crime. Editors: Brookman, F., Maguire, M., Pierpoint, H. and Bennett, T., . Willan. 9781843923725

Hobbs, D., (2010). Stealing commercial cash: from safecracking to armed robbery. In: Handbook on Crime. Editors: Brookman, F., Maguire, M., Pierpoint, H. and Bennett, T., . Willan. 9781843923725

O'Brien, K., Hobbs, D. and Westmarland, L., (2008). Negotiating Violence and Gender: Security and the Night Time Economy in the UK.. In: Violence in Europe: Historical and Contemprary Perspectives.. Editors: Body-Gendrot, S. and Spierenburg, P., . Springer. 161- 176. 9780387097046



Colchester Campus