What you will study
Crime and how to respond to it are major concerns and this module offers critical questions to help you to better understand complex local and global trends in crime and crime control. It asks you to question why particular behaviours are criminalised at certain points in time and in certain places but not in others and why some harmful acts are not defined as crimes at all.
Crime and justice is designed to enable you to gain an understanding of the contemporary nature of crime and criminal justice ‘beyond borders’. You will learn how to recognise the different ways in which crime is constructed, conceived and controlled. You will discover how criminologists have explained and rationalised these issues and explore how ideas and theories have been constructed to underpin these explanations. The module structures your understanding of crime and justice through a sustained engagement with relevant and accessible topics brought together under the themes of power, violence and harm.
Key issues for this module are:
- What do we mean by ‘crime’ and ‘criminal justice’?
- In what ways do crime and criminal justice have a global dimension?
- What is the difference between crime and the idea of social harm?
- How is the concept of violence intrinsic to understanding both crime and criminal justice?
- How does power work itself into networks of crime and the practices of criminal justice?
Throughout the module these issues will be explored through a series of topics, ranging from the production and selling of drugs, cities, slums and transgression, cyber-crime, human trafficking, corporate crime, torture and genocide to surveillance and global monitoring, the science of risk prediction, cultures of control, trans-national policing, international criminal courts and universal human rights. Throughout we ask what are the implications of only recognising ‘crime’ through the criminal laws enacted by individual societies? What are the consequences of responding to harms, disputes and conflicts primarily through the agencies of criminal justice? Asking such questions sheds light not only on 'the problem of crime' and 'the effectiveness of criminal justice', but also encourages imaginative thinking of how these issues might be reformulated and readdressed.
This module is for anyone who has a serious interest in studying one of society’s most pressing social problems at a local and global level. It is of professional relevance for those who work for, or who wish to work for, the agencies of the criminal justice system, or for organisations concerned with the care and resettlement of offenders, civil liberties, human rights, social justice, victim support, crime prevention, community safety and conflict resolution.