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Self-Organized Criticality in Criminal Activity: Cross-Country Analysis


In article the author considered approaches of the theory of the self-organized criticality (SOC) to studying of social phenomena. The theory of SOC has heuristic potential for an explanation of some nonlinear effects – such as spontaneous flashes of social activity as a result of violation of harmony of causes and effects. The author presented signs of critical condition, in particular, pink noise. The main question of work – what are heuristic opportunities of the theory of the self-organized criticality for studying of criminal activity. The article stated the key ideas of this theory and presented methods of identification of pink noise as SOC attribute. The author investigated criminal activity more than in 20 countries of the world. Sources of basic data are: statistics of the UN, reports of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation, previous researches. The author revealed that the numerical ranks showing change of criminal activity in some countries are pink noise. Pink noise indicates systems in a condition of the self-organized criticality (SOC). Such systems are capable to the spasmodic growth of activity without well observed proportional reasons. One of parameters of the studied numerical ranks – an indicator of the sedate law – can serve as the indicator for diagnostics of internal state of societies. Micro-level social problems generated macro-level instability. Pink noise and, then, avalanches arose under the influence of deep internal processes which, mostly, were hardly noticeable for external observers – politicians, intellectuals, officials. In the considered episodes the processes leading to social destabilization did not fade even during the periods of social and economic growth. The author offered typology of criminal activity on the basis of color / type of noise which is in the studied numerical ranks.


Self-organized criticality, pink noise, crime

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Problems of Modern Society

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