Thiago R. Oliveira

Welcome to my website! I am currently a Lecturer in Criminology at The University of Manchester. Previously, I was Lecturer in Criminology at the University of Surrey (2022/23) and a Research Fellow of Nuffield College in the University of Oxford (2021/22). I have a PhD in Social Research Methods from the London School of Economics and Political Science. I am currently an Associate Member of the Centre for Social Investigation (Nuffield College, University of Oxford), an Associate of Harvard University’s Department of Sociology, and an Associate Member of the Center for the Study of Violence of the University of Sao Paulo. I am also part of the team for the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods (PHDCN+), a multi-cohort study led by Robert Sampson and Dave Kirk.

I am a criminologist who draws on theories from sociology, social policy, and psychology to investigate the implications of police misconduct and aggressive policing tactics to public recognition of legal authority, crime, and violence in large cities in the Global North and the Global South. I study these topics from a quantitative social science approach, and mostly rely upon survey data and other kinds of data and use methods from statitics, econometrics, and data science. My work has appeared in venues such as the Journal of Quantitative Criminology, Journal of Experimental Criminology, Law & Society Review, and the British Journal of Criminology.

My chief research interests are primarily organised around the following topics:

  • Consequences of police misconduct

    Drawing on procedural justice theory, legal cynicism theory, and legal socialisation theory, I am curious about the the extent to which people lose faith in the legitimacy of legal institutions when they are repeatedly exposed to police misconduct, including exposure police aggressive and/or violent behaviour during childhood and adolescence, as well as the consequences of undermined legitimacy beliefs to deviant behaviour and tolerance of violence. I’m interested in the effects of public-police interactions, but also in broader temporal and cultural aspects. For instance, what are the effects of cumulative exposures to police misconduct throughout the life course? Do people who belong to specific social groups and are collectively exposed to certain police practices develop shared expectations and tools through which to interpret the functioning of the law?

  • Procedural justice theory

    I’m interested in theoretical developments of procedural justice theory, as well as its close connections to the legal cynicism and legal socialisation perspectives. I’m particularly keen to investigate what other aspects of police conduct beyond fair process could also consist of legitimating norms that contribute to enhance or harm public beliefs about the legitimacy of legal authority, especially in understudied societies in the Global South. For instance, my ongoing investigation in the city of São Paulo, Brazil, demonstrates that perceptions of overpolicing (e.g., the degree to which people perceive police officers to be repeatedly intruding upon their lives) and underpolicing (e.g., how sceptical people are about police officers’ interest and ability to ensure public safety) also contribute to undermine legitimacy beliefs.

  • Confrontational proactive policing tactics

    I’m very keen to conduct criminal justice policy evaluations. I’m eager to assess the extent to which certain aggressive policing tactics such as stop and search actually work to deter crime, but also if they work as a tool of social order maintenance and even whther they end up promoting legal cynicism and offending behaviour. For instance, in previous research I showed that police stops at gunpoint undermine legitimacy beliefs and that stop and search practices in London tend to concentrate in economically unequal locations. In general, I’m mostly keen to investigate policing policy in Latin America, especially Brazil.

  • Quantitative methods

    I am also very interested in teaching, applying, and developing quantitative research methods. Drawing on data science, statistical, and econometric methods, my main methodological interests include longitudinal data analysis, causal inference with observational data, measurement, multilevel modelling, spatial data models, and R programming.

Find more about me here! On this website, you can also find my up-to-date CV, some research I am currently working on, and a list of my published papers. You can also find a list of papers I published in Portuguese.

Feel free to contact me!