Michael Levi – Professor of Criminology, Cardiff University

Mike Levi

Beginning with my PhD in 1972 on the organisation and control of long firm (bankruptcy) fraud, my principal contribution to criminology has been to the understanding of the linkages and differences between white-collar and organised crime and their formal and informal crime control, from elite corporations and individuals to payment card and bankruptcy fraudsters. My mapping out of the local and transnational tensions in the globalisation of financial crimes and their control has been an enduring research theme.

I’ve played a prominent role since the 1970s in assisting the development of public policy and practice, including conducting for the Royal Commission of Criminal Justice a review of the Investigation, Prosecution and Trial of Serious Fraud (1992-3). From 1988, I embarked on a series of pathfinding studies of money laundering and the evolution of its national and transnational control in the UK and later for the Council of Europe, the EC, the IMF and most recently for the Law Commission. I created the corporate fraud survey in 1985 and developed a grounded understanding of the costs of frauds, money laundering and cybercrimes. I am a supporter of mixed methods in criminology, especially in the area in which I work, believing that using data without understanding their construction is foolish. I have also promoted the incorporation of regulatory and civil mechanisms into criminal justice in making sense of corporate and organised crime controls and their effects on offenders and society.

I have been at Cardiff University since I was appointed lecturer in criminology in 1975. It has been my pleasure to serve the British and European criminology ‘community’ in a range of ways during my career. 1992-2005, I was Council & Executive Member of the BSC and chaired it when we first held the BCC in Cardiff in 1993. From 1998-2005, I was Chair, Wales & West of England Branch as well, and from 2013 have been co-chair of the Welsh branch. I edited Criminology & Criminal Justice. As a keen internationalist, I was a founder member of the ESC in 2001, and have been twice a member of its board, and Cardiff hosted the ESC conference in 2017. I have also been vice-President and then President of the US National White-Collar Crime Research Consortium 2010-13 and contributed to the creation of the White-Collar and Corporate Crime Division within the ASC. See https://www.cardiff.ac.uk/people/view/38041-levi-michael.

I am a keen believer in ‘public criminology’ (though unsure what it means!), and have contributed to a range of public policy bodies in the UK and Europe dealing with corruption, fraud, and organised crime, which does not mean agreeing with everything they do. Normatively, I make no claims to be right in my personal values, but I see it as my task to critique evidence and promote its wise consideration in policy. As the son of a concentration camp survivor and a polio-afflicted mother, the struggle to reduce prejudice and promote justice is important – but not always easy to identify.