Department of Criminology

Piers Beirne Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Legal Studies
Cactus in the Nevada desert

Office Location




Academic Degrees

  • B.A. in Sociology, Essex University
  • Ph.D. in Sociology, Durham University


Academic Achievements

  • Fellowships and grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities
  • Fellowships at Oxford University (criminology); The Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics; the National University of Ireland (sociology); and the University of Wisconsin-Madison (law)
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, the American Society of Criminology (Division on Critical Criminology)
  • Co-founder and editor of the international journal Theoretical Criminology


Recent Publications


2021 ‘COVID-19 as an Anthroponosis: Towards a Criminology of Human-to-Animal Pathogen Transmission’, International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 10(3): 1-14.     

2021  'Animals, Women and Terms of Abuse: Towards a Cultural Etymology of Con(e)yCunnyCunt and C*nt’, Critical Criminology, 28(3): 327-349. 

          DOI: 10.1007/s10612-019-09460-w

2021   ‘Wildlife Trade and COVID-19: Towards a Criminology of Anthropogenic Pathogen Spillover’, British Journal of Criminology, 61(3): 607-626.  

          DOI: 10.1093/bjc/azaa084              

2018   ‘Raw, Roast or Half-Baked? Hogarth’s Beef in Calais Gate’, Theoretical Criminology, 22(3): 426-44.

        DOI: 10.1177/1362480618787174 

Books (see:

2018 Murdering Animals: Theriocide, Homicide and Nonspeciesist Criminology.  London: Palgrave Macmillan. (With Ian O'Donnell and Janine Janssen)

2017 Palgrave International Handbook on Animal Abuse Studies. London: Palgrave Macmillan, edited with Jennifer Maher and Harriet Pierpoint

2015 Hogarth's Art of Animal Cruelty: Satire, Suffering and Pictorial Propaganda. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

2015 Criminology: A Sociological Approach. 6th edition. Oxford University Press. (with James Messerschmidt)

2009 Confronting Animal Abuse: Law, Criminology and Human-Animal Relations.  Rowman & Littlefield.

2007 Issues in Green Criminology: Confronting Harms Against Environments, Humanity and Other Animals.  Willan. (with Nigel South)