Dr Michael Woodiwiss

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About me

Dr Michael Woodiwiss, BA (Hons) (Essex), M.Phil. (Sheffield), D.Phil. (UWE), F.R.Hist.S., (Fellow of the Royal Historical Society), IASOC Distinguished Scholar

Michael Woodiwiss has been a Senior Lecturer at UWE since 1996 after lecturing in the Department of American Studies, at the University of Wales, Swansea. In 2019 he was awarded a Distinguished Scholar Award by the International Association for the Study of Organized Crime, at the annual meeting of the American Society of Criminology.

Dr Woodiwiss is one of the world's leading interdisciplinary historians in the conceptualisation of organized crime and its control. His interdisciplinary research interests involve the study of organized crime, corporate crime, corruption and the attempts to control these activities – with a focus on international norm making. Dr Woodiwiss has collaborated widely with a range of experts from different disciplines, based in higher education institutions across Europe, Canada and the United States. His research partner is Dr Mary Alice Young (Law, UWE), and together they explore the exportation of Western organized crime control policies to small island developing states.

Widely regarded as the best in the field, Dr Woodiwiss's historical works concerning the study of organized crime and its control, have been published in the British Journal of Criminology, Global Crime, Trends in Organized Crime, and The International Criminal Justice Review. Dr Woodiwiss's books receive excellent reviews and have been widely published in Britain and North America. They are also available other languages including Italian and Portuguese.

Praise from Peers:

Dr Kristofer Allerfeldt, University of Exeter: "As one of the foremost thinkers on organized crime, Woodiwiss rarely disappoints."

Professor Dick Hobbs, author of Lush Life: Constructing Organized Crime in the UK: "Woodiwiss has dedicated his career to unpacking the often toxic packaging surrounding the concept of organized crime."

The esteemed, late Professor Margaret Beare (author of Critical Reflections on Transnational Organized Crime): "Woodiwiss once again brings solid historical evidence and analysis to the task of refuting conventional wisdom that prefers to see organized crime as something external from our capitalistic political, economic and social systems."


At UWE, Dr Woodiwiss currently leads two specialist modules which are informed by his research on American history, and organized and crime and its control. Dr Woodiwiss supervises PhDs and Masters dissertations on the broad subject of organized crime and welcomes all interested students. If you wish to speak to Dr Woodiwiss about conducting research projects for academic purposes, or to contact him about another aspect of his work (including media), you can email him directly at Michael.Woodiwiss@uwe.ac.uk

Area of expertise

Selected projects and works that Dr Woodiwiss has been involved with from 2015 onwards:

Internal Research Grant:

2017-2018: (With Dr Mary Young) £10,400 from the ACE Research Collaboration Fund, to study organized crime and its control in Jamaica. 

Membership of Editorial Boards: 

European Review of Organised Crime.

Professional Memberships: 

International Association for the Study of Organized Crime.
Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.
Society of Authors.
Authors’ Licensing & Collecting Society.
Association for Accountancy and Business Affairs.
European Consortium for Political Research. 
Strategic Hub on Organized Crime Research.

Selected Conferences:

2018: “Organized Crime Control, Human Rights Violations and a World of Debtors”, paper presented to the Mexican National Human Rights Commission and Mexico's National University (UNAM) Second international conference on Security, Justice and Human Rights, Mexico City.

2018 & 2017: Co-Founder and Chair with Dr Mary Alice Young, “Organized Crime” stream for the annual conference of the Socio Legal Studies Association, (Newcastle University, Bristol University).

2017: ‘The Pernicious Influence of President Ronald Reagan’s Organized Crime Commission’, ECPR Standing Group on Organized Crime, Second International Conference, Bath University.

2017: ‘’Underworld as Smokescreen: Crimes of the Powerful and the Evolution of Organized Crime Control’ in Revisiting Crimes of the Powerful: A Global Conversation on Capitalism, Corporations and Crime, Toronto.

Teaching specialisms:

American History from Independence to the Present Day.

American and International Organized and Corporate Crime and Crime Control.


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