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Liqun Cao


Criminology and Sociology

Faculty of Social Science and Humanities

Contact information

Bordessa Hall Downtown Oshawa
55 Bond Street East
Oshawa, ON


Dr. Liqun Cao received his PhD in Sociology from the University of Cincinnati in Ohio in 1993. Prior to joining Ontario Tech University, he held positions in the United States at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, and Salem State University in Massachusetts.

His research essays have appeared in many top national and international journals, including Criminology, Journal of Criminal Justice, Justice Quarterly, Policing, Social Problems, and Social Forces. His co-authored paper, Crime Volume and Law and Order Culture (2007), won the 2008 Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences’ Donal MacNamara Award for the best article of the year. He is the author of Major Criminological Theories: Concepts and Measurement (2004), the lead author of Policing in Taiwan from Authoritarianism to Democracy (2014), and a co-editor of Lessons of International/Comparative Criminology/Criminal Justice (2004) and The Routledge Handbook of Chinese Criminology (2014).

Dr. Cao is a guest-editor of the Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice for a special issue on police legitimacy with a race/ethnicity focus. The journal is the flagship of Canadian criminological knowledge. The special issue is to be published late 2022 or early 2023.

Professor Cao is bilingual in English and Chinese.

Curriculum vitae


  • PhD, Sociology University of Cincinnati 1993

Courses taught

  • Advanced Quantitative Methods (graduate and undergraduate levels)
  • Policing in Society
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Senior Seminar in Criminology

Research and expertise

  • Asian study
  • criminological theory
  • juvenile delinquency
  • policing
  • policy on ascetic deviance
  • quantitative methods
  • race and ethnicity in criminal justice systems

Research supervision areas:

  • criminological theory
  • police abuse of power
  • public opinion toward the police
  • policy on ascetic deviance

Graduate student research:

  • Master of Arts thesis supervisor for Marie Polgar-Matthews (2009 to 2012) and Andrea Lee (2010 to 2013). 

2012-2013 - Policing in Taiwan: From Authoritarian to Democratic. Partially funded by Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange, co-principal investigators with LanYing Huang and Ivan Sun, NT$180,000


  • Selected publications

    Cao, Liqun, Xiaohan Mei, and Yujia Li. (2024). Correlates of severity in mass public shootings in the United States, 1966-2022.  Journal of Applied Security Research, online first on February 12, 2024.

    Cao, Liqun.  2023. Understanding Legitimacy in Criminal Justice: Conceptual and Measurement Challenges. Switzerland: Springer.

    Cao, L: The Aboriginal People and Confidence in the Police. Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice (2014).

    Cao, L and Edward Maguire: A Test of Temperance Hypothesis: Class, Religiosity and Tolerance of Prostitution. Social Problems 60 (2): 188-205. 2013.

    Cao, L, Yung-Lien Lai and Ruohui Zhao. Shades of Blue: Confidence in the Police in the World. Journal of Criminal Justice 40 (1): 40-49. 2012.

    Cao, L and Ruohui Zhao. The Impact of Culture on Acceptance of Soft Drugs Across Europe. Journal of Criminal Justice 40 (4): 296-305, 2012.

    Zhang, Yan, George J. Day and Cao, L. A Partial Test of Agnew’s General Theory of Crime and Delinquency. Crime & Delinquency 58 (6): 856 – 878, 2012.

    Cao, L, Visible Minorities and Confidence in the Police. Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice 53 (1): 1-26, 2011.

    Cao, L and Donna Selman. Children of the Common Mother: Social Determinants of Liberalism in the U.S. and Canada. Sociological Focus 43 (4): 311-329, 2010.

  • Presentations

    Police Integrity in Taiwan. Paper submitted for presentation at 2022 ACJS in Las Vegas. With Fei-lin Chen, Yuning Wu, and Ivan Y. Sun

    Aboriginal People and Confidence in the Police in Canada. Paper presented at 2014 Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences’ annual meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    Dispute Resolution in Contemporary China. Paper presented with Yue Zhuo at 2013 Annual Meeting of ASC in Atlanta, Georgia.

    Criminology with Chinese Characteristics. Paper presented with Bill Hebenton and Ivan Sun at the 19th ACPSS International Conference, Louisville, Kentucky in 2013.

    Confidence in the Police and Reform of Academy Curriculum. Paper presented at Shanghai International Academic Symposium on Police Education. October 2013.

  • Media appearances