PROF Alison Young

PROF Alison Young


  • Cities, urban space, regulation, governance
  • Cultural Representations of Law, Crime and Justice (culture, film and television, visual communication, cultural criminology)
  • Cultural criminology
  • Graffiti and Street Art (graffiti, street art, young people, regulation, cultural criminology, street art)
  • Homelessness, public space
  • Socio-Legal Responses to Art (art, regulation, justice, judgment)



  • Alison Young is the Francine V. McNiff Professor of Criminology in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne.

    She has researched graffiti and street art for many years, and her ongoing research engages with the ways in which we live in and govern city spaces. She is currently researching the relationship between the built environment and urban governance in Australia and Japan, in respect of issues such as graffiti and urban creativity, homelessness, and the night-time economy and street crime. She is the founder of the Urban Environments Research Network, an interdisciplinary and international group of academics, artists, architects and activists interested in cities, social change and urban governance. At the University of Melbourne, she is a Research Convenor in the Future Cities Research Cluster, Melbourne Sustainable Societies Institute.

    She is also a Professor in the Law School at City, University of London, and an Adjunct Professor in the School of Law, Southern Cross University. She has been a visiting professor at Westminster University, Birkbeck College, University of London, the State University of New York at Buffalo, Hong Kong University, and New York University and was a visiting research fellow at the Humanities Research Centre at the Australian National University and a visiting professor at the Manheim centre for Criminology at the London School of Economics in 2018. In 1998 she was awarded the Karl Loewenstein Fellowship in Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought at Amherst College.

    She has delivered policy advice to the Victorian Law Reform Commission, the Law Reform Commission of New South Wales, KESAB, the Cities of Melbourne, Knox, Onkaparinga, and Yarra. She recently conducted research on visible homelessness and the governance of public space in conjunction with Justice Connect and the City of Yarra.



Member of

  • Law and Literature Association of Australia. Vice-President 2004 - 2009
  • Law and Literature Association of Australia. President 2003


Selected publications


Additional Grant Information

  • 2003 Visiting Research Fellow, Dept of Law, Birkbeck College, University of London

    1998 Karl Loewenstein Fellowship in Political Science and Jurisprudence, Amherst College

    2008 Visiting Fellow, Amsterdam School of Cultural Analysis, University of Amsterdam

    2014 Visiting Research Fellow, Humanities Research Centre, ANU

    2018 Visiting Professor, Mannheim Centre for Criminology, London School of Economics



Education and training

  • PhD, University of Cambridge 1988
  • MPhil, University of Cambridge 1985
  • LLB, The University of Edinburgh 1984

Awards and honors

  • Penny Pether Prize for best book in Law, Literature and the Humanities, 2016
  • Economic and Social Research Council, U.K., 1985



Available for supervision

  • Y

Supervision Statement

  • Areas of research supervision: public space, crime and urban space, spatial criminology, graffiti and street art, homelessness, media representations of crime, law and art, crime and the image.