Curriculum Vitae.

Personal Information:

Thomas Mathiesen, Jac. Aallsgt. 46, 0364 Oslo 3, Norway.

Home telephone: 22 60 56 85.

Born 5 October 1933.

Married to Erla B. Smári, born 4 April 1953, from Iceland.

Two children, Snorre and Sindre Smári Mathiesen, both born 19 October 1989.

Office address: University of Oslo, Faculty of Law, Department of Criminology and Sociology of Law, St. Olavs pl. 5 0130 Oslo, P.O.Box 6706 St. Olavs pl., 0130 Oslo.

Office telephone: 22 85 01 16

Office fax: 22 85 02 02



Examen artium, Stabekk høyere almenskole, Bærum Norway 1952.

B.A. in sociology, University of Wisconsin 1955, followed by graduate work in sociology.

Magistergrad in sociology (with psychology and social anthropology as minor subjects), University of Oslo 1958.

Dr. philos (sociology), University of Oslo 1965.


Member of Phi Beta Kappa 1955 (University of Wisconsin) in recognition of high attainments in liberal scholarship.

Receiver of the Denis Carroll prize at the World Congress of the International Criminological Society in 1978, for the book The Politics of Abolition (1974).

Receiver of the Zola-prize 2003.

Honorary doctor at Lund University, Sweden May 2003.


Research assistant, Institute for Social Research, Oslo 1959-1960.

Research Fellow, Norwegian Research Council for Science and the Humanities, with location at the Institute for Social Research, Oslo, 1960-1965.

University Research Fellow, University of Oslo, with location at the Institute for Social Research, Oslo, 1965-1969.

Senior Research Supervisor, Institute for Social Research, Oslo, 1969-1972.

Full professor of sociology of law, Faculty of law, University of Oslo, since 1972; professor emeritus since 1 January 2004.

Guest professorships/guest lectures:

Visiting assistant professor of sociology, University of California at Santa Barbara, Spring 1967.

Visiting full professor of criminology, University of California at Berkeley, Spring 1975.

Visiting full professor of sociology, University of Tromsø, Norway, Spring 1980.

Visiting full professor of sociology of law, University of Warzawa, Poland, Spring 1988.

Visiting full professor of criminology, University of Bremen, Germany, Spring 1988.

Guest lectures given i.a. at the universities of Tromsø, Trondheim, Copenhagen, Århus, Aalborg, Stockholm, Gøteborg, Lund, Umeå, York, Leeds, Southhampton, Edinburgh, Hamburg, Leiden, Bremen, Frankfurt, Perugia, Torino, Berlin, Sao Paulo, La Plata as well as many other universities and colleges in Europe and the Americas, in addition to guest lectures at a number of colleges inside and outside Norway

Professional papers presented at international conferences in sociology, criminology and sociology of law in Tromsø, Uppsala, Copenhagen, Århus, Bonn, Frankfurt, Berlin, Hamburg, Rostock, Cardiff, Londonderry, Madrid, Washington D.C., Amsterdam, Firenze, Milano, Toronto, Helsinki, La Plata, Tampere, Oxford, London and other places in Europe and elsewhere.

Main research areas:

Sociology of law and criminology, the development of international surveillance systems, action research involving organizational and political work with prisoners (see below), the sociology of the mass media, the sociology of power and counter-power.

Membership (past or present) of advisory boards/scientific boards of the following professional journals:

Tidsskrift för rättssociologi (Journal of Sociology of Law, Swedish), Social Kritik (Social Critique, Danish;at present), Journal of Law and Society (British), Dei delitti e delle pene (Italian), Sociologia del Diritto (Italian, listed among ”corrispondenti”), Law in Context (Australian), Social Justice (American; at present), Contemporary Justice Review (American), Punishment & Society (American; at present), The British Journal of Criminology (British; at present).

Other professional activities:

The author of a large number of newspaper articles on control policy, criminal policy, criminology and sociology of law in the major Scandinavian (especially Swedish and Norwegian) newspapers.

Member of the Norwegian Criminological Society.

Member of Rettspolitisk forening

Member of KROM - The Norwegian Association for Penal Reform, since its inception in 1968. One of the founders of this organization, and its first chairman, from 1968 until 1973. The organization organizes prisoners, ex-prisoners and non-prisoners in penal reform work, and has served as a model for similar organizational activities in several other countries, including Germany and the Netherlands. My participation in KROM has been very active; in that capacity I have participated in drawing up the platform of the organization, in planning its criminal policy conferences (in all, 35 such conferences have been organized between 1968 and 2005; they have all been large meetings, many of them with Scandinavian participation, one with German participation, one with US participation, one with British participation), in organizing a large number of criminal policy meetings in Oslo, and in writing several books and a number of articles on the sociological development of the organization.

My participation in the organization has served as a basis for radical action research, where information obtained about the penal system has been systematized in article and book form and fed back to the organization and to organizational and sociological theory.