Critical and Global Criminology - SO868

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
(version 4)
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7 20 (10) DR P Carney


None, though a general background in criminology or sociology is desirable.





Critical criminology constitutes a broad and multi-disciplinary tradition that studies the complex relationships between crime, control and power. The module will aim to acquaint students with the richness of writings in this field, the variety of political positions and the development of different traditions in the UK, US and the European continent. Critical criminology has also taken a recent interest in the processes associated with globalisation, thus giving rise to an emerging sub-discipline, global criminology. The module will also examine how this allows new understandings of crime, power and control, which link the global to the local. Various theoretical perspectives will be encountered, including those of new deviancy theory, Marxism, Foucauldian thought, left realism, abolitionism, social harm perspectives and, more recently, cultural criminology.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

The module will be composed of 21 hours of teaching contact divided flexibly between lecture time and seminar time.



Method of assessment

1. One essay of 5,000 words, including footnotes and bibliography.

Indicative reading

Aas, Katja Franko (2010) “Global Criminology” in E. McLaughlin and T. Newburn (eds.) The Sage Handbook of Criminological Theory. London: Sage

Aas, Katja Franko (2007 ) Globalisation and Crime. London: Sage

Cohen, S. (1985) Visions of Social Control: Crime, Punishment and Classification. Cambridge, Polity.

DeKeseredy, W. (2011) Contemporary Critical Criminology. Abingdon: Routledge

Ferrell, J., K. Hayward and J. Young (2008) Cultural Criminology: An Invitation. London: Sage.

Findlay, M. (1999) The Globalisation of Crime. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Foucault, M. (1981) Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison (trans. Alan Sheridan). London: Penguin.

Hall, S., et al. (1978) Policing the Crisis: Mugging, the State and Law and Order. London: Macmillan.

Morrison, W. (2006) Criminology, Civilisation and the New World Order. London: Glasshouse.

Ruggiero, V., South, N., and Taylor, I. (eds.) (1998) The New European Criminology: Crime and Social Order in Europe. London: Routledge.

Scraton, P. et al. (1987) Law, Order and the Authoritarian State: Readings in Critical Criminology. Milton Keynes: Open University Press.

van Swaaningen, R (1997 ) Critical Criminology: Visions from Europe. London: Sage.

Taylor, I., Walton, P., and Young, J. (1973) The New Criminology: For a Social Theory of Deviance. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

Taylor, I, Walton, P, and Young, J. (1975) Critical Criminology. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

Young, J. (1999) The Exclusive Society. London: Sage.

Young, J. (2007) The Vertigo of Late Modernity. London: Sage

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

Specific Outcomes:

1 Analyse to a level appropriate with postgraduate study the key concepts associated with critical criminology.
2 To trace the roots of critical criminology in social constructionism and subcultural theory and evaluate their relevance in the present period
3 Understand the different critical traditions, British, continental and American, in criminology.
4 Analyse the historical development of critical criminology both within the traditions and as a response to the changing conditions of late modernity.
5 Understand the recent interest of critical criminology in globalisation and practices of crime and control that link the global with the local.
6 To critically appraise at a level appropriate to postgraduates the epistemological limits of positivism and the need for critical methods.
7 To evaluate the implications for criminology of the revelations of state crime and the emerging criminology of war and genocide.

Generic learning outcomes

1 Demonstrate skills commensurate with postgraduate study in presentation and debate, both verbal and written, and in utilization of research and empirical data.
2 Be able to synthesis complex theoretical items of knowledge from different schools and disciplines of enquiry.
3 Be able to gather library and web-based resources appropriate for postgraduate study; make critical judgments about their merits and use the available evidence to construct a developed argument to be presented orally or in writing.

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