Explaining crime: Contributing Factors within a Multilayered Network (CFMN)

Armin Alimardani*Ph.D. student, University of New South Wales, Australia

 *corresponding author: a.alimardani@student.unsw.edu.au


Identifying numerous causal factors of crime, and their interrelationship, provides a complex basis for explaining crime. The absence of a comprehensive and coherent method may prevent criminologists from conducting effective research. By studying a range of disciplines such as criminology, psychology, sociology and neuroscience, theories of causation in philosophy and network theory in economics, business and mathematics, this study proposes ‘Contributing Factors within a Multilayered Network (CFMN) as a systematic method for explaining crime. CFMN has three main principles: first, crime is the result of multiple factors that contribute to criminal behaviour; second, although some factors are replaceable or modifiable, other factors are unchangeable (adverse experiences). Third, there is a network of interactions between these factors with three key features: 1) Some factors should be disregarded as they are merely blends of other factors. 2) Some factors can aid in identifying other factors (frontal lobe impairment and impulse control disorder). 3) The influence of some factors may be altered by other factors (severity of depression and parenting quality). These principles enable CFMN to serve as a suitable tool for criminologists to analyse criminal behaviour for various purposes, including crime prevention and prediction studies, and decision making in criminal proceedings by determining causes of crime (culpability), prospects of rehabilitation and so forth.

Keywords: explaining crime, CFMN, multiple factors, interaction between factors.