Traditional comparative criminology has predominantly focused on the comparison of isolated and self-contained cultures and arrangements. However, globalisation has altered states of isolation and self-containment to produce spheres of interrelation. That provides a challenge to the comparative method. This article will argue that comparative criminology needs to come to terms with novel objects in new conceptual and organisational layers, both above the state and below the city. Such enquiry requires agility. Rather than identifying and crossing new frontiers, globalised comparative criminology should concern itself with the complex interplay between global, national, city and subcity levels. This approach is illustrated by an examination of contrasts in community safety between the rival Dutch cities of Amsterdam and Rotterdam.

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