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date: 03 August 2020

(p. ix) Preface

(p. ix) Preface

With great pleasure, we present this new addition to the Oxford Handbooks in Criminology and Criminal Justice series. Offender decision making and the assumption of human agency embedded within it go straight to the heart of our discipline. When we were invited in 2012 by Oxford Handbooks series general editor Michael Tonry to edit an entire volume devoted to this topic, we accepted the opportunity without precisely knowing what was ahead of us. Although each of us had studied offender decision making extensively, our methods and theoretical perspectives had been very different. As we started to develop a draft outline and to consider potential authors, it dawned on us that the breadth and depth of the subject went far beyond our own experiences. Yet, to our knowledge, very few resources existed that integrated this body of knowledge. Of course, this was why Michael asked us to take up the project in the first place. As a result of this relative ignorance on our part, editing this handbook has been not only a pleasant and exciting but certainly also a rewarding and instructive journey for us.

In addition to an editors’ introduction, the Handbook comprises 32 contributions, each devoted to one or more aspects of offender decision making. The topics range from “traditional” rational choice-based perspectives to the latest insights from neuroscience, from the influence of stable offender dispositions on criminal choice to fleeting emotional experiences impacting on decision processes, and from victim selection to weapon use. Furthermore, a series of chapters address the different methods that have been and can be used to investigate offender decision making. Several chapters are included that address decision making in specific types of crime. All in all, we think our efforts have resulted in an encompassing, yet by no means exhaustive, resource for those researchers, professionals, and students who share an interest in this topic.

There are many people to whom we are indebted for making The Oxford Handbook of Offender Decision Making possible. First, we thank Michael Tonry for providing us with the opportunity to edit this handbook. Second, we owe much debt to all the reviewers who so kindly devoted their time and effort to provide input to help improve the various contributions. They are, in alphabetical order, Martin Andresen, Ronet Bachman, Eric Beauregard, Michael Benson, Giulia Berlusconi, Arjan Blokland, Remi Boivin, Jeffrey Bouffard, John Braithwaite, Jeff Brantingham, Fiona Brookman, Gerben Bruinsma, Vincent Buskens, Peter Carrington, Heith Copes, Mary-Louise Corr, Veroni Eichelsheim, Paul Ekblom, Els Enhus, Lyn Exum, Richard Felson, Frank van Gemert, Charlotte Gerritsen, Paul Gill, Stephanie van Goozen, Liz Groff, Cory Haberman, Jan Hendriks, Scott Jacques, Erich Kirchler, Eward Kleemans, Katy de Kogel, Marieke Liem, Marie Rosenkrantz Lindegaard, Tamara Madensen, Jean McGloin, Geert Mesters, (p. x) Frank Morgan, Daniel Nagin, Claire Nee, Lieven Pauwels, Jill Portnoy, Travis Pratt, Danielle Reynald, Jason Roach, Job van der Schalk, Shaul Shalvi, Aiden Sidebottom, Sally Simpson, Wouter Steenbeek, Jeffrey Stuewig, Milind Tambe, Marie Tillyer, George Tita, Kyle Treiber, Frank Weerman, Brandon Welsh, Johan van Wilsem, and Richard Wortley. Their careful reading and helpful suggestions have been pivotal in the end result.

We also thank our editor at Oxford University Press, James Cook, for his efforts and patience in getting this handbook together. Finally, and most important, we express our sincere gratitude to all the contributors of this handbook.

Wim Bernasco

Jean Louis van Gelder

Henk Elffers