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Theoretical criminology



18:30 – 21:20


2nd semester

Lecture venue
Lecture time
Offer semester
  • Beginning with an appreciation of the classicist approaches to thinking about crime, social disorder, surveillance and punishment by sociologists and criminologists from the nineteenth centuries, though much of their work has been criticized and subsequently modified, these early thoughts provide very useful road maps into contemporary debates about crime, disorder, social problems and problem populations, and what’s to be done about them. We will then look at more recent accounts of crime that came into prominence during the latter part of the twentieth century in the USA, UK, and in Asia, and assess the limits and possibilities of criminological theorizing in the current global and local contexts.

    Many of these numerous and diverse approaches to crime and crime control can be seen as a response to earlier theories – challenging them, debating them, extending them, or even a resurrection of part of them. Finally, the course will encourage students to see the relevance of criminological perspectives to their field research and prepare them for their dissertations.

    • An ability to understand main criminological concepts and debates about crime and social problems and associated key works.

    • An ability to critically assess the diverse and competing assumptions and rationales in the study of crime and social problems.

    • An ability to identify key theoretical debates and implications surrounding the application of ideas about crime and criminality to contemporary crime control policies in the local and global context.

    • An ability to develop a reasoned argument and to present ideas in a clear and concise manner in oral presentation and in written work.

  • Tasks


    Two individual portfolios of 1500 words each


    Group presentation on research topic


    3-hr Written Examination


    1. Bernard; , Snipes, J. and Gerould, A. (2016). Vold’s Theoretical Criminology (7th edition). London: Oxford University Press.

    2. McLaughlin, E. and Muncie, J. (Eds.) (2019). The SAGE Dictionary of Criminology (4th edition). London: SAGE Publications.

    3. Posick, C. and Rocque, M. (2019). Great Debates in Criminology. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.

    4. Segev, Dana (2015). Positive Criminology. New York: Routledge

    1. Crewe, Don and Lippens, Ronnie (E) (2015). What is Criminology About? Philosophical Reflections. Oxon: Routledge.

    2. Hall, S. and Winlow, S. (2012). New Directions in Criminological Theory. London: Routledge.

    3. McLaughlin, E. and Newburn, T. (E) (2010). The SAGE Handbook of Criminology Theory. London: SAGE Publications.

    4. Liebling, A.; Maruna, S. and McAra, L. (E) (2017). The Oxford Handbook of Criminology (6th edition). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    5. Newburn, T. (2017). Criminology (3rd edition). New York: Routledge.

    6. Newburn, T. (Ed.) (2009). Key Readings in Criminology. New York: Willan

Honorary Lecturer

Dr Kalwan M T Kwan
Course co-ordinator and teachers
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