Gavin Slade is an associate professor in sociology. He completed a PhD in criminology from the University of Oxford and has previously held positions at the University of Toronto, Freie Universitat, Berlin and the University of Glasgow. He works on questions of criminal justice reform in the former Soviet Union with a focus on prisons, policing and organized crime. His most recently completed project, funded by the German Research Foundation and the European Commission, involved a comparative case study of how penal reform produces violence and contention in post-Soviet prison systems, comparing Georgia, Moldova, Lithuania and Kyrgyzstan. Slade is a Principal Investigator on a new project running from 2018-2021, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council in the UK, and entitled ‘In the Gulag’s Shadow: Producing, Consuming and Perceiving Prisons in the Former Soviet Union.’ The project applies criminological theory to show how the practice of incarceration is being reconstituted by social, economic, cultural and political processes in Russia and Kazakhstan. Slade has also done work for the Council of Europe, Open Society Foundation as well as the European Union’s project ‘Enhancing Criminal Justice in Kazakhstan.’

Selected Publications


Slade, G. (2013) Reorganizing Crime: Mafia and Anti-Mafia in Post-Soviet Georgia. Oxford University Press: Oxford.


Butler, Michelle, Gavin Slade, and Camila Nunes Dias (2018). "Self-governing prisons: Prison gangs in an international perspective." Trends in Organized Crime.  1-16.

Slade, G. and Vaičiūnienė, R. (2017) In comparative perspective: the effects of incarceration abroad on penal subjectivity among prisoners in Lithuania. European Journal of Criminology

Slade, G. and Kupatadze, A. (2017) Popular punitiveness? Punishment and attitudes to law in post-Soviet Georgia. Europe-Asia Studies, 69(6), pp. 879-896.

Slade, G. (2017) Informality as illegality in Georgia's anti-mafia campaign. Caucasus Survey, 5(1), pp. 51-64.

Slade, G. (2016) Violence as information during prison reform: evidence from the Post-Soviet region. British Journal of Criminology, 56(5), pp. 937-955.

Piacentini, L. and Slade, G. (2015) Architecture and attachment: Carceral collectivism and the problem of prison reform in Russia and Georgia. Theoretical Criminology, 19(2), pp. 179-197.

Tangiashvili, N. and Slade, G. (2014) Zero-tolerance schooling: education policy, crime, and democracy in post-Soviet Georgia. Post-Soviet Affairs, 30(5), pp. 416-440.

Bosworth, M. and Slade, G. (2014) In search of recognition: Gender and staff-detainee relations in a British immigration removal centre. Punishment and Society, 16(2), pp. 169-186.

Slade, G. (2012) No country for made men: The decline of the mafia in post-Soviet Georgia. Law and Society Review, 46(3), pp. 623-649

Slade, G. (2012) Georgia's war on crime: creating security in a post-revolutionary context. European Security, 21(1), pp. 37-56.

Book Chapters

Slade, G. (2017) Punishment and state-building in Post-Soviet Georgia. In: Heathershaw, J. and Schatz, E. (eds.) Paradox of Power: The Logics of State Weakness in Eurasia. Series: Central Eurasia in context series. University of Pittsburgh Press: Pittsburgh, PA, pp. 88-104.

Slade, G. (2017) Remembering and forgetting the Gulag: prison tourism across the post-Soviet region. In: Wilson, J. Z.Hodgkinson, S.Piché, J. and Walby, K. (eds.) The Palgrave Handbook of Prison Tourism. Series: Palgrave studies in prisons and penology. Palgrave Macmillan.

Slade, G. (2017) 'A return to Gulags'? Explaining trends in post-Soviet prison rates. In: Melossi, D.Sozzo, M. and Brandariz García, J. A. (eds.) The Political Economy of Punishment Today: Visions, Debates and Challenges. Series: Routledge critical studies in crime, diversity and criminal justice (2). Routledge: New York, pp. 185-204.

Slade, G. (2015) Criminology of Mafias. In: Wright, J. D. (ed.) International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences [2nd ed.]. Elsevier: Oxford, pp. 429-434.