Clifford Shearing holds professorships at Griffith University, Queensland, Australia (School of Criminology and Criminal Justice | Griffith Institute of Criminology); the Law Faculty and the African Climate and Development Initiative, Faculty of Science, where he is an Associate, both at the University of Cape Town; the School of Criminology, University of Montreal. He is a Visiting Professorial Fellow in the Law Faculty at the University of New South Wales.

Shearing’s academic work has broadened criminology’s boundaries, with a primary focus on ‘security governance’ and how this might be understood and enhanced.  In the context of his applied work he has co-authored the 1999 Patten Commission report on policing in Northern Ireland and, a 2014 report by the Council of Canadian Academies, commissioned by the Government of Canada, entitled Policing Canada in the 21st Century: New Policing for New Challenges.   This report builds on earlier reports published by the Canadian Law Reform Commission on global developments in policing.   

His current work is focused on exploring shifts in 21st Century risk landscapes.  Recent books include Security in the Anthropocene (Transcript, with Cameron Harrington), 2017; Criminology and the Anthropocene (Routledge, edited with Cameron Holley), 2018, and Criminology and Climate: Insurance and the Regulation of Harmscapes (Routledge, edited with Cameron Holley and Liam Phelan), 2020.

He has authored 20 books and over 200 papers and has throughout his career, sought to reshape understandings of security and its governance. He, and his collaborators, have coined terms such as “mass private property”, the “governance of security” and “nodal governance” that have become common parlance within the criminological lexicon. 

Shearing is currently engaged, with the support of the Mauerberger Foundation, in supporting young people who are making a difference in transforming human engagements with earth systems through EESI (Environmental Entrepreneurs Support Initiative) he also supports the Evolving Securities Initiative, a network that brings together security scholars and professionals undertaking innovative research and thinking on today’s security challenges.