Researchers at UCD


Robert Van Krieken

Visiting Professor

School Of Sociology



Robert van Krieken (1955) received both his BA Honours and PhD in Sociology from the University of New South Wales, and also has a Law degree from the University of Sydney. He has taught and researched for many years at the University of Sydney, where he played a central role in establishing a distinct sociology programme from 1991 onwards, as well as setting up a programme in socio-legal studies in 2006. He has done research on the historical sociology of child welfare in Australia, the Stolen Generations, processes of civilization and decivilization, the question of cultural genocide, and the sociology of recent changes in family law in Australia, the USA, and Europe, as well contributing to the theoretical debates around the work of Elias, Foucault, Luhmann, and Latour. As Professor of Sociology at UCD, he aims to develop the linkages between various centres of sociological research in Ireland, Europe, North America, and Australia.




Association: International Sociological Association, Function/Role: Vice-President, Finance & Membership
Association: Law and Society Association, Function/Role: Member
Association: Sociological Association of Ireland, Function/Role: Member, Executive Committee


Year 1977 Institution: University of New South Wales
Qualification: BA (Hons.) Subject: Sociology
Year 1986 Institution: University of New South Wales
Qualification: PhD Subject: Sociology
Year 2003 Institution: University of Sydney
Qualification: LLB Subject: Law



Journals Edited

Journal Of Sociology: Reviewer.
Childhood: Reviewer.
British Journal Of Sociology: Reviewer.
Theory, Culture And Society: Reviewer.
Law And Social Inquiry: Reviewer.
Current Sociology: Reviewer.



Van Krieken, R., Habibis, D., Smith, P., Hutchins, B., Martin, G., Maton, K. (2014) Sociology: Themes and perspectives. Sydney: Pearson Education. [Details]
Patricia Loughlan, Barbara McDonald & Robert van Krieken; (2010) Celebrity and the Law. Sydney: Federation Press. Available Online [Details]
Robert van Krieken, P Smith, D Habibis, B Hutchins, G Martin, K Maton; (2010) Sociology. Sydney: Pearson Education Australia. Available Online [Details]
Robert van Krieken, P Smith, D Habibis, B Hutchins, M Haralambos, & M Holborn; (2005) Sociology: Themes and Perspectives 3rd ed. Sydney: Pearson Education Australia. [Details]
Robert van Krieken; (1998) Norbert Elias. London: Routledge. [Details]
Robert van Krieken; (1992) Children and the State: Social Control and the Formation of Australian Child Welfare. Sydney: Allen & Unwin. [Details]

Book Chapters

David Lemmings, Ann Brooks (2014) 'Norbert Elias and Emotions in History' In: Emotions and Social Change: Historical and Sociological Perspectives (eds). Emotions and Social Change: Historical and Sociological Perspectives. New York, USA: Routledge. [Details]
van Krieken, Robert; (2010) 'Reassembling civilization: state-formation, subjectivity, security, power' In: Anna Yeatman; Magdalena Zolkos (eds). State, Security and Subject Formation. New York: Continuum. , pp.36-49 [Details]
Robert van Krieken & Doris Bühler-Niederberger; (2009) 'Rethinking the Sociology of Childhood' In: Ann Denis & Devorah Kalekin-Fishman (eds). The ISA Handbook of International Sociology. London: Sage. , pp.421-460 [Details]
Robert van Krieken; (2008) 'Crime and Social Theory' In: Thalia Anthony & Chris Cuneen (eds). The Critical Criminology Companion. Sydney: Hawkins Press. , pp.68-79 [Details]
Robert van Krieken; (2008) 'Cultural Genocide in Australia' In: Dan Stone (eds). The Historiography of Genocide. London: Palgrave Macmillan. , pp.128-155 [Details]
Robert van Krieken; (2007) 'Liberal technologies of regulation' In: Stewart Clegg & James R. Bailey (eds). nternational Encyclopedia of Organization Studies. London: Sage. [Details]
Robert van Krieken; (2007) 'Civilizing Processes' In: George Ritzer (eds). The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology. Oxford: Blackwell. , pp.529-533 [Details]
Robert van Krieken; (2006) 'The ethics of corporate legal personality' In: Stewart Clegg & Carl Rhodes (eds). Management Ethics: Contemporary Contexts. London: Routledge. , pp.77-96 [Details]
Robert van Krieken; (2006) 'The socio-legal construction of the 'best interests of the child': law's autonomy, sociology and family law' In: M.D.A. Freeman (eds). Law and Sociology: Current Issues in Legal Theory Vol 8. Oxford: Oxford University Press. , pp.437-58 [Details]
Robert van Krieken; (2005) 'Stolen generations, Australian civilization, citizenship and governance' In: Judith Bessant, Richard Hil & Rob Watts (eds). Violation of trust: Institutional Abuse and Child Welfare in Australia. Sydney: Allen & Unwin. , pp.29-50 [Details]
Robert van Krieken; (2005) 'Assimilation and liberal government ' In: Tim Rowse (eds). Contesting Assimilation. Perth: Australian Public Intellectual Network. , pp.39-47 [Details]
Robert van Krieken; (2005) 'Frech oder schuldig. Wie das Recht über die Strafmündigkeit der Kinder denkt  in England, Deutschland und Australien' In: Doris Bühler-Niederberger (eds). Die Macht der Unschuld ¿ das Kind als Chiffre. Wiesbaden: Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften. , pp.185-225 [Details]
Robert van Krieken; (2003) 'When is child welfare cultural genocide? On the politics of the organised ‘improvement’ of children's lives’' In: Heinz Sünker, Russell Farnen & György Szell (eds). Political Socialisation, Participation and Education: Change of Epoch - Processes of Democratisation. Frankfurt: Peter Lang. , pp.87-112 [Details]
Robert van Krieken & Martin Krygier; (2003) 'The character of the nation' In: Robert Manne (eds). Whitewash: On Keith Windschuttle¿s Fabrication of Aboriginal History. Melbourne: Black Inc Books. , pp.81-108 [Details]
Robert van Krieken; (2003) 'The organization of the soul: Elias and Foucault on discipline and the self' In: Eric Dunning and Stephen Mennell (eds). Norbert Elias, Vol. 1 (Sage Masters of Modern Social Thought). London: Sage. , pp.135-153 [Details]
Robert van Krieken; (2001) 'Norbert Elias and Process Sociology' In: George Ritzer & Barry Smart (eds). The Handbook of Social Theory. London: Sage. , pp.353-367 [Details]

Peer Reviewed Journals

van Krieken, R; (2011) 'Three faces of civilization: 'In the beginning all the world was Ireland''. Sociological Review, 59 :24-47. [DOI] [Details]
van Krieken, R; (2011) 'Kumarangk (Hindmarsh Island) and the Politics of Natural Justice under Settler-Colonialism'. Inquiry, 36 :125-149. [DOI] [Details]
van Krieken, Robert; (2010) 'Childhood in Australian Sociology and Society'. Current Sociology, 58 (2):232-249. [Details]
van Krieken, R; (2010) 'Childhood in Australian Sociology and Society'. Sociology, 58 :232-249. [DOI] [Details]
Robert van Krieken; (2011) 'Kumarangk (Hindmarsh Island) and the politics of natural justice under settler-colonialism'. Law and Social Inquiry, 36 (1). [Details]
Robert van Krieken & Doris Bühler-Niederberger; (2008) 'Persisting Inequalities: Childhood between global influences and local traditions'. Childhood, 15 (2):147-155. [Details]
Robert van Krieken; (2008) 'Cultural genocide reconsidered'. Australian Indigenous Law Review, 12 (Special issue):76-81. [Details]
Robert van Krieken; (2006) 'Law's autonomy in action: anthropology and history in court'. Social & Legal Studies, 15 (4):577-93. [Details]
Robert van Krieken; (2005) 'The 'best interests of the child' and parental separation: on the 'civilizing of parents''. Modern Law Review, 68 (1):25-48. [Details]
Robert van Krieken; (2005) 'Occidental self-understanding and the Elias-Duerr dispute: 'thick' versus 'thin' conceptions of human subjectivity and civilization'. Modern Greek Studies, 13 :273-281. [Details]
Robert van Krieken; (2004) 'Rethinking cultural genocide: indigenous child removal and settler-colonial state-formation'. Oceania, 75 (2):125-151. [Details]
Robert van Krieken; (2002) 'The paradox of the 'two sociologies': Hobbes, Latour and the constitution of modern social theory'. Journal of Sociology, 38 (3):255-273. [Details]
Robert van Krieken; (2001) 'Legal informalism, power and liberal governance'. Social and Legal Studies, 10 (1):5-22. [Details]
Robert van Krieken; (1999) 'The barbarism of civilization: cultural genocide and the 'stolen generations''. British Journal of Sociology, 50 (2):295-313. [Details]
Robert van Krieken; (1997) 'Sociology and the reproductive self: demographic transitions and modernity'. Sociology(Journal of the British Sociological Associati, 31 (3):445-471. [Details]
Robert van Krieken; (1996) 'Proto-governmentalization and the historical formation of organizational subjectivity'. Economy and Society, 25 (2):195-221. [Details]
Robert van Krieken; (1986) 'Social theory and child welfare: beyond social control'. Theory and Society, 15 :401-429. [Details]


Research Interests

My research has been on the sociology of childhood and family life, state-formation, organizations, the formation of personality and the self, processes of civilization and decivilization, genocide and cultural genocide, child welfare, legal reasoning, law and social science, legal ideas and institutions, and social theory, especially the work of Elias, Foucault, Weber, Luhmann and Latour