Professor Stephen Tomsen


Professor of Criminology


Stephen Tomsen is a sociologist and criminologist, and Professor of Criminology at Western Sydney University. Previously he was an Associate Dean / Research Training at the University of Newcastle, Deputy Director of the Sydney Institute of Criminology, and he has held visiting fellowships and professorships in the United Kingdom (Birkbeck College, Keele University and University of Manchester), the University of Washington (Seattle), Leiden University, and the Netherlands Ministry of Justice (Den Haag). Stephen was a key member of Australia's renowned sociology group at Macquarie University in the 1970s and 1980s. He is an acknowledged international figure in research on violence, gender/sexuality, and drinking and drug use (AOD). He has delivered numerous papers at national and international conferences and meetings on these topics and his output includes eight books/research monographs and dozens of refereed articles and papers. He recently completed a co-edited book on Australian Violence (Federation Press, 2016). His solo and joint career research earnings exceed $1.2m and most of this has come from competitive external sources (Australian Research Council; Criminology Research Council; Law Foundation of NSW/Law Institute of Victoria; NSW Attorney General’s Crime Prevention Division; National Drug Law Enforcement Research Fund).

Professor Tomsen recently finalised a national report on homicide in the night-time economy, and he was the sole CI on an ARC Discovery Project on "Violence and disengagement from violence among young Australian men" (with Prof Gadd/ Uni Manchester as international PI). Stephen has been a Visiting Professor at the International Institute for the Sociology of Law (Onati/Spain), is a member of the editorial boards of the International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy; Current Issues in Criminal Justice and The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology (to 2013). Since arriving at Western Sydney University in 2008 he has overseen the development of successful Bachelor of Social Science (Criminology and Criminal Justice) and Bachelor of Criminology degrees, as well as the 2018 Masters in International Criminology. He was an ERA 2 and ERA 3 national assessor in four Australian research codes and he has assessed ARC Laureate, Discovery, Future Fellow, DECRA and Linkage applications across a range of fields.

Professor Tomsen has supervised numerous Honours, Masters and PhD research theses to completion as both principal and co-supervisor.  Past topics have included violence and homicide; drinking and drug ab(use); violence against women, men and sexual minorities; white collar crime; urban order and crime prevention; hate crime and social prejudice; masculinity and youth; social movements, gender and sexuality; gender, professionalism and workplace relations. These theses used a range of qualitative, mixed methods and ethnographic approaches. Stephen is available to supervise theses in criminology, sociology, gender/sexuality alcohol and drug (AOD) studies, and general social science.

Research Interests

  • Violence and homicide
  • Hate crime and social prejudice
  • Drinking harm and regulation
  • Illicit drug use
  • Masculinity and sexualities

Qualifications and Recognition

  • PhD Macquarie University
  • BA (Hons 1)

Research and Publications

Contact Details