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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Postgraduate Course: Global Crime and Insecurity (LAWS11292)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Law CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe focus of the course is the definition, explanation and interpretation of global forms of crime, insecurity and injustice. This is tackled in a structure which examines issues of categorization and definition first, before exploring a range of contexts in which crime and criminality may be researched, then examining particular forms of crime and finishing with questions of measurement and interpretation.

The course focus is on policy and legal responses to international and global forms of crime, insecurity and injustice. This is tackled in a structure which examines issues a range of different policing, judicial and regulatory frameworks, with attention paid in each of these sessions to the underlying logic of the approach. Following this, various mechanisms through and contexts in which criminal justice policy might spread are examined. The course finishes with a case study of money laundering, but depending on the availability of staff, this could be replaced with any substantive crime issue which allows students the opportunity to draw together a number of the issues raised in earlier sessions.

Global Crime and Insecurity is one of two core courses on the MSc programme in Global Crime, Justice and Insecurity and is available to students on LLM programmes, the MSc in Criminology and Criminal Justice, the MSc in International and European Politics, the MSc in International Relations, and other MSc programmes subject to agreement between the course convenor and relevant programme director.

Course description Order of content may need to vary from year to year to accommodate individual lecturers or other commitments;

1. Introduction/Globalization and crime (Aitchison)
An introduction to some key ideas about globalization and about the way crime is defined and understood. Highlighting the implications of globalization on how crime is defined, how criminal acts take place, and, looking forward to a further course, responding to Global Crime and Insecurity, how responses are developed.
Sessions 2 and 3 examine some of the issues around the categorization of crime.

2. International corporate crimes and harms (Aitchison/Copson)
The session will look at international corporate actors engaged in criminal activity (e.g. tobacco trafficking, bribery) and at other harms that may sit on or outside the boundary of what is defined as criminality.

3. Terrorism and the boundary between crime and war (Aitchison)
Identifying different ways of conceptualising terrorism and the implications on institutional responses, examining the role of police, intelligence and military organisations. Background material will include video of relevant colleagues responding to questions on terrorism.

Sessions 4-6 explore some of the relevant contexts of global and international crime

4. Crime in war - exploring the black economy and state-crime links (Aitchison)
Drawing on the work of Peter Andreas, the session examines the ways in which grey or black economies function in contexts of war, how this relates to the international environment, the goals of warring authorities, the needs of civilian populations and criminal acquisition of wealth.

5. Failed states and crime (Aitchison)
Moving on from crime in the context of war, this session looks at a wider range of contexts where states are damaged or weakened and looks at the relationship between this and different forms of crime within and beyond those states.

6. Global criminals: Understanding genocidaires (Aitchison)
Exploration of two different levels of analysis to explain genocidal activity: organisational and individual. Using historical material and focusing on Germany and German/Nazi-Occupied Europe, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Rwanda.

7. Cross-border crime: Trafficking (Aitchison)
Group work on different forms of trafficking as defined by what is trafficked (endangered species, weaponry, drugs, people), identifying commonalities and particularities, overlaps in participants. Focus on (a) drivers (b) actors (c) practices.

8. Crimes in the global virtual environment (Haywood)
Acting as a taster for the second semester course, the session will introduce students to cyberspace as an environment with particular criminal opportunity structures.

The final two sessions deal with general overarching issues that arise throughout weeks 2-8, and that shape our understanding of a variety of crimes.

9. Measuring crime in a global context (Aitchison)
(a) comparing crime levels
(b) measuring transnational criminal phenomena

10. Understanding the transnational organisation of crime (Aitchison)
A session which looks at different ways in which transnational crime is mapped and understood (looking from local manifestations up to build a picture of shifting alliances, or looking top-down for relatively stable transnational organizations).
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  60
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) One essay of 1500 words
One journal-style article 3,500 words
Feedback Feedback is given at three main points in the year.
1. At the time the short essay question is set, students are given generic feedback derived from an overview of submissions in previous years.
2. The short essay is timed to provide students with full, individualised feedback in weeks 9 or 10, at least 5 weeks ahead of submission of the second, longer assessment.
3. Full feedback is given on the longer assessment.

Feedback is given under the following headings:
Critical and conceptual analysis
Strength and cohesion of argument
Use of sources/evidence
Structure and organisation
Breadth and relevance of reading
Clarity of expression, presentation and referencing
General comments

Students are invited to discuss any feedback with the course convenor during advertised office hours or another mutually convenient time.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. A broad sense of research literture on international and transnational forms of crime and a strategy to access relevant literature
  2. An advanced understanding of approaches to, and issues in defining, describing, measuring and researching international and transnational forms of crime
  3. The ability to present a coherent and evidenced argument in a limited space
  4. A clear understanding of, and ability to apply, explanatory frameworks for international and transnational forms of crime
  5. The ability to follow a clear style guide in producing work of a high presentation standard
Reading List
* Katja Franko AAS 2013. Globalization and Crime.
* Peter ANDREAS and Kelly GREENHILL (eds) 2010. Sex, Drugs and Body Counts: The Politics of Numbers in Global Crime and Conflict.
* Mangai NATARAJAN (ed.) 2011 International Crime and Justice.
* Vincenzo RUGGIERO, Nigel SOUTH and Ian TAYLOR (eds) 1998. The New European Criminology: Crime and Social Order in Europe.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Generic cognitive skills
The area of global crime is a new and developing area in criminology, synthesising theory and knowledge from a range of disciplines. Seminars and assessment will be designed to encourage students to access a range of sources and to synthesise these in understanding particular forms of international and transnational crime. Students are encouraged to select particular cases or problems to which they then apply learning from the course to come up with original analyses. The field is characterised by sketchy and often contentious evidence, and students are encouraged to deal with this, seeking creative solutions where possible and limiting conclusions where necessary.

Communication skills
Students are expected to communicate appropriately with peers and experts in seminars which are predominantly based around discussions and group tasks. High level communication skills are developed through the use of journal-style assessments. Critical engagement with quantitative data sources is focused in one particular session on measurement but also runs throughout a number of other sessions.

Autonomy, accountability and working with others
Students develop autonomy through preparation for seminars and assessments where, beyond a core minimum, they are expected to direct their own reading, and define their approach to questions, selection of cases and examples. Group work in seminars encourages the development of peer working, including exercising leadership in groups, working as part of a team to effectively realise goals and producing outputs that enjoy group support and consensus.

KeywordsCrime,Genocide,Harm,International,Organised Crime,Smuggling,Cybercrime,State,TErrorism
Course organiserProf Richard Sparks
Tel: (0131 6)50 2059
Course secretaryMiss Maree Hardie
Tel: (0131 6)50 9588
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