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Unit information: An International Analysis of Crime, Harm and Justice in 2015/16

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Unit name An International Analysis of Crime, Harm and Justice
Unit code SPOLM1065
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Professor. Pantazis
Open unit status Not open




School/department School for Policy Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

This unit will examine crime, harm and justice from both national and international perspectives. The unit will begin by interrogating the meaning of ‘crime’, ‘harm’ and justice’. It will then consider a number of social issues such as trafficking, drugs, and violence against women by drawing upon different theoretical perspectives and paradigms (e.g. harm reduction, restorative justice) to understand national and international responses to them. By the end of the unit students will have an understanding of the construction of ‘crime’ and ‘justice’; some of key contemporary social issues driving policy responses; and current theoretical approaches informing those responses.

The aims of the unit are:

a) to equip students with a critical understanding of the notions of crime, harm and justice

b) to illustrate these notions by considering a number of cases studies such as human trafficking, drugs, violence against women, terrorism

c) to consider national and international responses to different crimes and harms

to understand the political imperatives and theoretical frameworks underpinning or driving policy responses

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of this unit students should have :

  • a knowledge of recent developments in UK penal policy
  • a knowledge of current theories, research and issues which are influencing policy
  • an awareness of the extent to which UK policies are being influenced by policies and practices elsewhere (e.g. US, Europe)
  • an awareness of the extent to which some crimes go unpunished

Teaching Information

The unit will be delivered in 10 sessions of one and half hours through a combination of lectures and seminars.

Assessment Information

4,000 word essay.

Reading and References

Garland, D (2001)The culture of control :crime and social order in contemporary society, Oxford: Oxford University Press

Hudson, B (2003) Understanding justice: an introduction to ideas, perspectives and controversies in modern penal policy, Milton Keynes: Open University Press

Hillyard, P., Pantazis, C., Gordon, D., and Tombs, S. (2004) Beyond Criminology: Taking Harm Seriously, London: Sage

Muncie, J., Talbot, D., and Walters, R. (2009) Crime: Local and Global, Devon: Willan