My current research adopts a mechanistic approach to science to advance criminological theory development. The field of criminology currently stands at a crossroads in terms of how to advance as a scientific discipline. Since the 1930s, criminology has largely operated as a subfield of sociology. The sociological focus of the field, however, has been increasingly seen by criminologists as hampering the field's ability to produce scientific theories of crime. Criminologists have begun to more actively incorporate insights from biology and psychology into the field to enhance theory development. Unfortunately, these efforts have not been geared toward producing a unified science of crime and instead focus on developing knowledge narrowly within specific research programs.
My research seeks to develop and apply a metatheoretical framework that draws upon the mechanistic philosophy of science to enhance criminological theory development. This research suggests ways in which criminological theories can be elaborated with the mechanisms identified in other scientific fields to foster defensible theory integrations, elaborations, and competitions to promote the development of a body of cumulative, non-contradictory theory which is capable of explaining crime.