Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2013

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In


First Advisor

Heimer, Karen

First Committee Member

Lang, Joseph B

Second Committee Member

Leicht, Kevin T

Third Committee Member

Sauder, Michael

Fourth Committee Member

Rosenfeld, Richard


Modernization theorists posit that rapid economic development can produce increased rates of homicide (Durkheim 1951 [1897]; 1984 [1902]; 1997 [1893]; Shelley 1981). As nations develop, individuals migrate to regions that have greater opportunities for employment. Here, they may experience conflicting norms, a lack of adequate housing and education, and possible underemployment. While modernization theory has been tested extensively, it has not accounted for the way in which nations currently develop. Many nations are recipients of inward foreign direct investment. This form of investment, by multi-national corporations, has produced economic growth, inequality, and urbanization in many countries (Bengoa and Sanchez-Robles 2003; Blomström et al. 1994; Campos and Kinoshita 2002; Sit and Yang 1997). These correlates, economic growth, inequality, and urbanization, have all been linked to homicide (Cole and Gramajo 2009; Nivette 2011).

In an examination of up to 62 nations, inward foreign direct investment is found to promote urbanization and inequality. In separate analyses, urbanization is found to increase homicide - suggesting that foreign investment produces homicide by increasing urbanization.

Several scholars have suggested that a strong civil society can mitigate societal ills (Currie 1997; Messner and Rosenfeld 1997). Analyses show that a strong civil society, represented by the presence of international-non-governmental organizations, is associated with decreased rates of homicide.

The results suggest that nations should be cautious when receiving foreign investment. City infrastructure should be monitored to keep up with the needs of a rapidly growing population. International organizations that deal with issues of rapid growth, including those that provide access to housing and education and those that work at reducing inequality and poverty, should be sought after.


cross-national, Durkheim, globalization, homicide, modernization, trade


ix, 235 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 192-209).


Copyright 2013 Philip John Levchak

Included in

Sociology Commons