David Sausdal

David Brehm Sausdal


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Works at Department of Criminology
Visiting address Universitetsvägen 10 C, plan 6
Room C 676
Postal address Kriminologiska institutionen 106 91 Stockholm

About me

PhD in Criminology


Courses I have taught:

  • Criminological theory 
  • Anthropological theory
  • Qualitative/ethnographic methods
  • The politics of crime and criminal justice
  • The sociology of punishment


Overall research interests

  • Cultural criminology
  • Criminological ethnography
  • Anthropology of crime

Specific research interests

  •  Globalisation and policing 

Current research projects

Policing cross-border crime
Cross-border crime (or transnational crime) is a contemporary concern in many Western countries. In my PhD project, I study the Danish Police practices and perceptions in relation to cross-border crime. More specially, the study is an ethnographic examination of two local, investigational task force’s efforts in apprehending criminal foreign nationals - foreign nationals who for different reasons have travelled to Denmark where they commit various sorts of organised property crime such as trick thefts, pickpocketing, burglaries and robberies. Specifically, I focus on the many workaday frustrations and concerns that the task force's detectives voice in relation to increasingly having to police what they and others have described as 'the dark side of globalisation'. 


Criminal Entanglements
Transnational organised crime is one of today's major global problems. Trafficking, drug smuggling, money laundering and other transnational crimes are related to terrorism and a gradual breakdown of communities around the world. Although transnational crime is high on the political agenda, our qualitative knowledge of this issue remains limited and fragmented. The new research project "Criminal Entanglement" (of which I am a part) will contribute to a new and more detailed knowledge of the social infrastructure of international crime. Through an extensive ethnographic study, the project will investigate what happens when people and illegal drugs move from West Africa via Morocco to Spain, France and throughout Europe. The project has been granted DKK 15 million by the European Research Council through a so-called consolidator grant to Professor Henrik Vigh from the Department of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen. 



Sausdal, David (2012) Conundrums of Creativity. Master’s Thesis. I Specialerækken. Copenhagen: Department of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen.

Sausdal, David & Henrik Vigh (2013) “Den Ontologiske Blænding: om den ontologiske vendings metodiske og politiske problemer”  I Tidskriftet Antropologi nr. 67. In English: “The Ontological Blinding: the ontological turn’s methodological and political problems”. In Tidskriftet Antropologi ver. 67

Sausdal, David (2014) ‘Cultural Culprits’ In Crisis and Migration: Implications of the Eurozone crisis for perceptions, politics, and policies of migration, (eds. Pieter Bevelander &
 Bo Petersson). Lund: Nordic Academic Press

Vigh, H. E., & Sausdal, D. B. (2014). From essence back to existence: Anthropology beyond the ontological turn. Anthropological Theory, 14(1), 49-73.

Sausdal, D. (2015). Leanne Weber, Policing Non-Citizens. Punishment & Society, 1462474515572726

Vangkilde, K.T. and Sausdal, D.B. (2016) Overponderabilia: Overcoming Overthinking When Studying" Ourselves". In Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung/Forum: Qualitative Social Research (Vol. 17, No. 2).

Sausdal, D. (2016) The Right to Crime: A Search for the Ideal Criminal.

Sausdal, D. (2017) Pleasures of policing: An additional analysis of xenophobia. Theoretical criminology. 10.1177/1362480617707947​ 

Last updated: May 30, 2018

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