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Dr Avi Boukli

Dr Avi Boukli

Profile summary

  • Central Academic Staff
  • Lecturer in Criminology
  • Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences
  • School of Hist, Rel St, Soc, SP&C
  • Social Policy & Criminology
  • avi.boukli

Professional biography

Before joining The Open University in February 2016, Avi worked at Teesside University as Senior Lecturer in Criminology. Prior to this Avi taught at Birkbeck University of London and at the London School of Economics. Between 2001 and 2015, Avi was the editor in chief of Kodikas Publications in Athens, Greece. Their research is concerned with imaginary penalities, social harm, and social justice and with some broader questions to do with the interface between structural inequalities, crime, gender, sexuality, and zemia.


Oct.'13 - Jul.'15 - Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, H.E.A., U.K.

Oct.'07 - Apr.'12 - PhD in Law, “Imaginary Penalities: reconsidering anti-trafficking discourses and technologies”. The London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Law, London, UK.

Oct.'06 - Oct.'07 - Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Criminology, The London School of Economics and Political Science, Dpartment of Sociology, London, UK.

Sep.'00 - Feb.'05 - Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Sociology, specialisation in Criminology, Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences, Department of Sociology, Athens, Greece.

Professional affiliations

British Society of Criminology; Onassis Scholars' Association; Greek Society for the Study of Deviance and Social Control; European Group for the Study of Deviance and Social Control; American Society of Criminology (2011); Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


Research interests

In previous years, my research has engaged with criminalization, security and human rights informed by empirical work in the context of sex trafficking, exploring the application of the concept “imaginary penalities”.

Since then, I have published work on counter trafficking technologies and the financialization of victim services. I am currently working on the following projects: 1) the Queering Victimology Project with Dr. Alex Dymock (Royal Holloway); 2) on a project related to LGBTQ communities and the housing crisis in the UK; and 3) on a project related to modern slavery with Prof. Helen Yanacopulos. 

Simultaneously I am working on an edited collection on Zemiology, Crime and Harm with Justin Kotzé and on a monograph related to human trafficking and the concept of zemia.

PhD supervision

Avi is interested in supervising students in the following areas: Social Justice, Feminist Theory, Queer Theory, State Crime, Marxist Criminology, Critical Victimology, Media Representations of Crime, Human Trafficking, Harm and Zemiology.

Current PhD students:

  • Evgenia Iliadou
  • Roe McDermott

Recent publications

A selection of my research publications can be viewed at The Open University's Open Research Online.

Boukli, A. (2019) Zemiology and Human Trafficking. London & NY: Routledge.

Boukli, A. and Yanacopulos, H. (2018) 'A Geneology of Slavery'. In Winterdyk, J. (ed.) The Palgrave International Handbook of Human Trafficking. London & NY: Palgrave.

Boukli, A. and Kotzé, J. (In Print) Zemiology: reconnecting crime and social harm. London & NY: Palgrave Macmillan, Critical Criminological Perspectives.

Boukli, A. and Renz, F. (In Print) Gender Murder: transphobia, zemia, and telemorphosis. In Boukli, A. and Kotzé, J. (eds.) Zemiology: reconnecting crime and social harm. London & NY: Palgrave Macmillan, Critical Criminological Perspectives.

Boukli, P. (2016) ‘Trafficking and the “Victim Industry” Complex’. In Antonopoulos, G. (ed.) Dick Hobbs. Springer Studies in Organised Crime. New York: Springer, pp.237-263.

Boukli, P. & Chatzopoulos, G. (2015) 'Imaginary Counter-Trafficking Penalities: a comparative analysis of Greece and the United Kingdom',Journal of Trafficking, Organised Crime and Security, 1(2), pp.76-90.

Papanicolaou, G. & Boukli, P. (2011) Sex, Trafficking and Crime Policy in Greece, in Cheliotis, L. and Xenakis, S. (eds.), ‘Crime and Punishment in Contemporary Greece: International Comparative Perspectives’, Oxford: Peter Lang Publishing Group, pp. 307-338.

Newspaper and media

Boukli, A. (5 July 2017) 'Criminalisation and LGBTQI+ Rights: a Queer Marxist approach', OpenLearn Article.

Bouklis, P.S. & Kappas, P. (March 2004) The Marc Dutroux of the newspaper next door (Ο Ντιτρου της Διπλανης Εφημεριδας), 87/8607, 08/03/2004, in Eleutherotypia (Greek daily newspaper).


Bouklis, P.S. ‘Human Rights and Gender Identity’, in M Galanou ed., Athens: Greek Transgender Association and the Council of Europe, 2010.

Academic Blogs

May'17 - Defining Zemia, 8 May 2017.

Jul. '16 - The Empire is Out with a Million Bullets Fired: a short introduction to the poetic rhetoric of harm, 21 July 2016. 

Feb. '16 - Moral Economy and the Refugee Crisis, with F. Renz, 1 February 2016.

Oct.'13 - Precarious Faces, Ruins: Chronicle of an HIV witch-hunt, 26 October 2013.

Oct.'13 - Transphobia, Critical Legal Thinking, 22 August 2013, also translated in Greek.

Sep.'09 - Homophobic Violence, 19 September 2009.

Other interests

  • Poetry and representations of poetic harm.
  • Art and political activism.

Teaching interests

Avi has produced and taught a very large number of modules across a range of topics including Property Law, Criminal Law, Sociology, Criminology, Victimology and Criminal Justice.

Avi is currently the module chair/lead of DD804 Crime and Global Justice (F75 MA in Crime and Justice). 


Deconstructing the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender victim of sex trafficking: Harm, exceptionality and religion–sexuality tensions (2018)
Boukli, Avi and Renz, Flora
International Review of Victimology ((Early Access))
Imaginary counter-trafficking penalties: A comparative analysis of Greece and the United Kingdom (2015-12-01)
Bouklis, P. S. and Chatzopoulos, Georgios
Journal of Trafficking, Organized Crime and Security, 1(2) (pp. 76-90)
[Book Review] Invisible Crimes and Social Harms. By Pamela Davies, Peter Francis and Tanya Wyatt (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014, 280pp. £65.00 hb) (2015-06-09)
Boukli, Evi and Kotzé, Justin
British Journal of Criminology ((Early Access))
Zemiology: reconnecting crime and social harm (2018)
Boukli, Avi (Paraskevi) and Kotze, Justin
ISBN : 978-3-319-76312-5 | Publisher : Palgrave Macmillan | Published : London
Gender Murder: anti-trans rhetoric, zemia and telemorphosis (2018)
Boukli, Avi (Paraskevi) and Renz, Flora
In: Boukli, Avi (Paraskevi) and Kotze, Justin eds. Zemiology: Reconnecting Crime and Social Harm. Critical Criminological Perspectives (pp. 145-164)
ISBN : 978-3-319-76311-8 | Publisher : Palgrave
Trafficking and the “Victim Industry” Complex (2016-05-22)
Bouklis, Paraskevi S.
In: Antonopoulos, Georgios A. ed. Illegal Entrepreneurship, Organized Crime and Social Control Essays in Honor of Professor Dick Hobbs. Studies of Organized Crime (14) (pp. 237-263)
ISBN : 978-3-319-31608-6 | Publisher : Springer
Sex, Trafficking and Crime Policy (2011)
Bouklis, Paraskevi S. and Papanicolaou, Georgios
In: Cheliotis, Leonidas K. and Xenakis, Sappho eds. Crime and Punishment in Contemporary Greece: International Comparative Perspectives (pp. 307-338)
ISBN : 978-3-03911-562-4 | Publisher : Peter Lang Publishing Group | Published : Oxford
How the last man to see Sylvia Plath alive was punished for his quiet homosexuality (2017-02-21)
Bissell, Christopher and Boukli, Avi
The Conversation, London.