When we turn on or read the news, we usually see stories of people around the world suffering at the hands of their own governments. Have you ever wondered what is really going on? How do these things happen? How can we stop it? This module is about crime committed by governments and it explores the definition and nature of state crime in criminological and political discourse. We look at examples of state crime and analyse them as a class. By the end of the course you will have a greater understanding of the worst types of crime. Arm yourself with academic theories and knowledge and never watch or read the news the same way again!
The module aims to develop a critical understanding of the nature of the state and the scale and type of crimes committed by governments and their agents. The definitional processes involved in labelling state’s acts as criminal are explored, as are the forces which explain why and how states enter into deviant or ‘criminal’ practices.
Teaching in lectures and seminars will be supplemented with a number of structured study sessions, such as a supervised library skills workshop, and assessment preparation for the coursework.
By the end of the course, the students will be able to demonstrate intellectual, transferable and practicable skills and in particular will be able to:
Demonstrate the ability to identify potential state crimes based on criminological definitions.
Understand some of the basic political and economic forces that may drive state crime.
Explain why and how states might enter into criminal activity.