Tom Daems

Tom Daems
Leuven Institute of Criminology (LINC)
Herbert Hooverplein 9 - box 3418
3000 Leuven
room: 00.69

tel: +32 16 37 92 53

Tom Daems is currently associate professor (hoofddocent) at the Leuven Institute of Criminology (LINC), KU Leuven. Previously he was an assistant professor in criminology and sociology of law at Ghent University. He has been a visiting scholar at the universities of Edinburgh (2009) and Nottingham (2010) as well as at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) (2014 and 2018). Tom Daems holds degrees in (European) criminology and political science from KU Leuven and LSE. Over the years he has developed a particular interest in sociological, legal and normative questions related to punishment. Part of his Ph.D. – dissertation was published as Making Sense of Penal Change in the Clarendon Studies in Criminology-Series (Oxford University Press, 2008). For this book he was awarded the Willem Nagel Prize (Dutch Society of Criminology) as well as the Denis Carrol Prize (International Society for Criminology) in 2009.

Daems has undertaken research and published on a number of penal policy issues in Belgium and beyond, including articles, book chapters and co-edited books on prisons, restorative justice and electronic monitoring. His recent books include European Penology? (2013) (Hart Publishing, edited with Dirk van Zyl Smit & Sonja Snacken), Outside Criminology: Selected Essays by Stanley Cohen (2016) (Routledge, editor), Europe in Prisons (2017) (Palgrave Macmillan, edited with Luc Robert), Europa waakt (2018) (Universitaire Pers Leuven, edited with Stephan Parmentier) and Privatising Punishment in Europe? (2018) (Routledge, edited with Tom Vander Beken). He is currently writing a book Victims: A Sociology for the Aftermath of Crime for the Routledge Key Ideas in Criminology-Series. At LINC Tom Daems is the coordinator of research line 8 on ‘Punishment and Control’ which aims to foster in particular research in the field of (comparative and European) penology and prison studies.

Studies higher education Period Institute
Ph.D. in Criminology 2003 - 2007 KU Leuven
Master of Science in Crime, Deviance and Control 2002 - 2003 London School of Economics and Political Science
Advanced Studies Master in European Criminology 2000 - 2002 KU Leuven
Candidate in Political Sciences 2000 - 2002 KU Leuven
Licentiate in Criminological Sciences 1998 - 2000 KU Leuven
Candidate in Criminological Sciences 1996 - 1998 KU Leuven
Career Period Institute
Associate Professor of Criminology 2014 - ... KU Leuven
Assistant Professor of Criminology and Sociology of Law 2012 - 2014 UGent
Senior Research and Teaching Fellow 2011 - 2012 UGent
Postdoctoral Fellow FWO 2008 - 2011 KU Leuven
Postdoctoral Fellow BOF 2007 - 2008 KU Leuven
PhD Fellow FWO 2003 - 2007 KU Leuven
Research experience Period
Victimisation in detention: prevalence, causes and consequences (funding: FWO; promotor: Tom Daems) 2019 - 2023
Punishment and denial (funding: FWO; promotor: Tom Daems; researcher: Katerina Sechidou) 2017 - 2021
Penal policy transfer (funding: FWO; promotor: Tom Daems; copromotor: Tom Vander Beken (UGent); researcher: Danique Gudders) 2015 - 2018
Degradation, civilization and denial: a European and comparative perspective on punishment (funding: BOF KU Leuven; promotor: Tom Daems; researcher: Jonas Visschers) 2014 - 2016
Detention and states in transition (funding: FWO; promotor: Tom Vander Beken (UGent); copromotor: Tom Daems; researcher: Cedric De Koker) 2014 - 2018
State punishment in cosmopolitan Europe (funding: BOF UGhent; promotor: Gert Vermeulen (UGent); copromotor: Tom Daems; researcher: Rebecca Deruiter) 2014 - 2018

Detentiebeleving bij geïnterneerde mannen en vrouwen (funding: BOF UGent; promotor: Freya Vander Laenen (UGent); copromotor: Tom Daems; researcher: Anouk Mertens)

2014 - 2018
Teaching experience Period
Penologie en penitentiair recht (KU Leuven) since 2014 - 2015
Private veiligheidszorg (KU Leuven) since 2014 - 2015
Criminaliteitsvormen en misdrijven (KU Leuven) since 2014 - 2015
Vraagstukken uit de penologie en forensische hulpverlening (with Ivo Aertsen, KU Leuven) since 2014 - 2015
Deontologische problemen uit de criminologische praktijk (with Matthias Lievens, KU Leuven) since 2014 - 2015
Inleiding in de criminologie (KU Leuven) 2017 - 2018
Politiële en gerechtelijke organisatie (UGent) 2012 - 2014
Deontologie en integriteitsbewaking (UGent) 2012 - 2014
Penologie (with Freya Vander Laenen, UGent) 2012 - 2014
Criminologie (UGent) 2011 - 2014
Rechtssociologie (UGent) 2011 - 2014
‘Community sanctions’ (Universitat Pompeu Fabra) 2014
‘Sociology of punishment and comparative penology’ (Universitat Pompeu Fabra) 2010
Editorial boards
Member editorial board ‘Tijdschrift over Cultuur & Criminaliteit’ (Boom, since 2018)
Co-editor book series ‘Routledge Key Thinkers in Criminology’ (Routledge, since 2015)
Coordinator and member editorial board, subsection: ‘Criminology and Criminal Law Theory’ of ‘Panopticon’(since 2013)
Associate editor of ‘Panopticon’ (since 2008)
Member editorial board, subsection: ‘Penology and Victimology’ of ‘Panopticon’ (since 2007)
Member editorial board ‘FATIK: Tijdschrift voor Strafbeleid en Gevangeniswezen’ (since 2000)
Book review editor of ‘Panopticon’ (2012 - 2019)
Editor-in-Chief of ‘FATIK: Tijdschrift voor Strafbeleid en Gevangeniswezen’ (2005 - 2014)
Forum functions
Member ESF College of Expert Reviewers (European Science Foundation) (since 2016)
Member governing board Panopticon vzw (since 2010)
Member governing board Dutch-Flemish Association for the Sociology of Law  (2013 - 2016)
Treasurer Panopticon vzw (2010 - 2014)
Member Supervision & Complaints Committee of the prisons of Leuven (2006 - 2012)
Member working group ‘Communication’ of ‘Suggnomè,  vzw – Forum voor Herstelrecht & Bemiddeling’ (2006 - 2009)


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  • Daems, Tom; van Stokkom, Bas; 2019. Significante denkers en hun oeuvre: betekenissen, controverses en digitale uitholling. Tijdschrift over Cultuur & Criminaliteit; 2019; Vol. 9; iss. 1; pp. 3 - 13

    Publisher: Boom Lemma Uitgevers
  • book
    2019. Significante denkers en hun oeuvre. Publisher: Boom criminologie; Den Haag

  • Daems, Tom; van Swaaningen, René; 2019. ‘Ik ben een beunhaas in de criminologie’: in gesprek met Pieter Spierenburg. Tijdschrift over Cultuur & Criminaliteit; 2019; Vol. 9; iss. 1; pp. 16 - 30

    Publisher: Boom Lemma Uitgevers
  • Daems, Tom; van Stokkom, Bas; 2019. ‘Liever het landschap dan de struiken’: in gesprek met Hans Boutellier. Tijdschrift over Cultuur & Criminaliteit; 2019; Vol. 9; iss. 1; pp. 53 - 68

    Publisher: Boom Lemma Uitgevers
  • presentation
    Daems, Tom; 2019. Penal innovation and policy transfer.

  • Gudders, D; 2019. Penal policy transfer.
    In recent years various pleas for, and attempts to developing comparative, global and even cosmopolitan criminology have been launched. Against this background, the phenomenon of policy transfer received some attention. This research project aims to contribute to the emerging stream of research on policy transfer within criminology. The central research question is: 'What has been the contribution of policy transfer to penal policy making in the two selected areas of study, that is, electronic monitoring and restorative justice?' For each of the two cases the general research question will fall apart in six sub-questions: (1) Why are policies, practices and ideas being transferred? (2) Who is involved in the transfer of policies, practices and ideas? (3) What is being transferred? (4) Are there different degrees of policy transfer? (5) From where are policies, practices and ideas being transferred? and (6) What are the constraints on the transfer of policies, practices and ideas? Detailed case histories of policy formation and transfer for each of the two cases will be developed. To this end, empirical data will be collected and analysed in a two-stage process: (1) a documentary analysis based on literature and documentary evidence concerning the two selected cases and (2) semi-structured interviews with key actors in- and close observers of- the various policy processes.

  • chapter
    Daems, Tom; Goossens, Elien; 2019. Elektronische monitoring voor jongeren: een volwassen reflectie. Het Vlaamse jeugddelinquentierecht; 2019; pp. 107 - 119 Publisher: Larcier; Brussel

  • other
    Daems, Tom; Pleysier, Stefaan; 2019. Laudatio for Professor Richard Sparks. Honorary Doctorate Prof. Dr. Richard Sparks, in honour of the 90th anniversary of  criminology (1929-2019) in Leuven - Eredoctoraat Prof. Dr. Richard Sparks, ter ere van de 90ste verjaardag van criminologische wetenschappen (1929-2019) in  Leuven; 2019; pp. 9 - 16 Publisher: Intersentia; Cambridge

  • Daems, Tom; 2019. EHRM laakt detentiecondities tijdens stakingen in Belgische gevangenissen. De Juristenkrant; 2019; iss. 391; pp. 2 - 2 Publisher: Kluwer Rechtswetenschappen

  • Daems, Tom; 2019. How do policies travel? Findings from a study on penal policy transfer.

  • Daems, Tom; 2019. Elektronische monitoring in het Vlaamse Jeugddelinquentiedecreet: een volwassen reflectie.

  • Daems, Tom; 2018. Zeg maar Jef tegen de chef: een blauwdruk voor de gevangenissen van de toekomst?. De Juristenkrant; 2018; iss. 378; pp. 11 - 11 Publisher: Kluwer Rechtswetenschappen

  • Daems, Tom; Gudders, Danique; 2018. Policy transfer and electronic monitoring in Belgium: findings from an empirical study.

    Published online
  • Daems, Tom; Gudders, Danique; 2018. Beleidstransfer en criminologisch onderzoek. Panopticon: Tijdschrift voor Strafrecht, Criminologie en Forensisch Welzijnswerk; 2018; Vol. 39; iss. 5; pp. 455 - 462

    Publisher: Maklu
  • thesis-dissertation
    Mertens, Anouk; 2018. Detentiebeleving bij geïnterneerde vrouwen: een follow-up onderzoek.

  • media
    Aertsen, Ivo; Daems, Tom; 2018. De gevangenisstraf en het buikgevoel van de politiek. De Standaard; 2018; pp. 30 - 31

  • thesis-dissertation
    Deruiter, Rebecca; 2018. Detention conditions in cosmopolitan Europe.
    This dissertation provides an empirical analysis of the standard setting and policy-making processes at the Council of Europe (CoE) and the European Union (EU) in the area of detention conditions for prisoners and asylum seekers. In this way, the dissertation contributes to the emerging research area of European Criminology. The theory of cosmopolitanism is the theoretical framework that guides this dissertation. Cosmopolitanism entails a unity in diversity in which diversity is not a problem as long as certain common norms and standards are accepted. The research findings are based on a qualitative methodological approach: a literature review, a document analysis, and expert interviews with key policy-makers and external experts. To further narrow the scope of this dissertation, the following selected policy moments and outcomes are analysed. For the CoE: the European Prison Rules and the CPT recommendations regarding immigration detention; for the EU: the Green paper on detention and the recast Reception Conditions Directive. The analysed policy moments and outcomes are considered as reflections of the increasing unity in diversity in Europe regarding the issue of detention conditions for prisoners and asylum seekers. The theoretical framework of cosmopolitanism is operationalised by applying a policy and social network approach to the selected policy outcomes. By focusing on the actors involved and the relations between these actors, this provides us with increased insights into the standard setting and policy-making process at the European level and helps explain why this greater unity in Europe regarding the issue of detention conditions occurs. The research findings show that the topic of detention conditions in Europe is considered a very specialised area that involves only a limited number of active actors. Despite the limited number of actors, a solid block of common norms and values is present, such as the rule of law, the protection of human rights, and solidarity with the involved policy-makers and experts. This is important, because for cosmopolitanism to work, it has to be grounded on commonly accepted norms. While cosmopolitanism implies that national rhetoric is superseded, after digging deeper into the selected policy outcomes, it becomes evident that the priorities and considerations by the member states play an influential role in taking certain initiatives and driving a policy-making or standard setting process forward. The European Courts have an influential role in triggering policy change and give meaning to what is acceptable and what is considered substandard in Europe.

  • Daems, Tom; Gudders, Danique; 2018. Where does electronic monitoring come from? Findings from a study on penal policy transfer in Belgium.

  • Daems, Tom; Gudders, Danique; 2018. Penal policy transfer in a small country: understanding the introduction and development of electronic monitoring in Belgium.

  • Daems, Tom; 2018. Victims and solidarity: a functionalist approach.