Global and comparative criminology

Offer semester
2nd semester

Lecture time
Monday 19:00 – 21:50

Lecture venue

Course description

In recent years, increasing attention has been paid to the ‘global’ question in criminology.  Due to the compression of time and space through communications technologies, the transnational nature of social movements, the increasingly obvious global unity of the natural environment, and the intense inter-linkages in the global economy, it is becoming increasingly problematic to study criminology in an exclusively ‘local’ context.  Therefore, just as ‘global’ issues such as human trafficking, the international drug trade and corporate harm must be understood in an international context, so too must traditionally ‘local’ arenas of criminological interest be located within a comparative perspective, and understood as being shot-through with transnational and global dimensions.

In this context, there is growing recognition of the importance of new geographical sites of knowledge production, in particular those beyond traditional Anglo-American bases of power. This course will therefore equip students with the theoretical and methodological tools to ‘reach for the global’ in their criminological imagination by drawing on a range of case-studies framed from the global and comparative perspective.

Course learning outcomes

  • Explain the concept of globalisation and its importance to the field of criminology.
  • Critically assess some of the major theoretical and methodological debates within the field of global and comparative criminology.
  • Evaluate the significance of global and comparative perspectives for understandings of crime and control in the contemporary context.



Class presentation20%

Required reading

There will generally be 2-4 article or chapter length required readings per week, in addition to recommended readings that are mean to assist students who are seeking to delve further into particular topics.  As in all postgraduate courses, it is encouraged that students find and read sources outside of the reading list in preparation for their papers and presentations.  Students are expected to attend class having carried out the relevant readings for the class.  There is no set text for this course. However, if you wish to purchase a book to assist your learning, the following texts are referred to frequently and should give a general overview of the various core components of the course:

  • Aas, K-J. (2007 and 2013) Globalization and Crime, London: SAGE.
  • Muncie, J. et al. (2010) (eds), Crime: Local and Global, Cullompton: Willan
  • Muncie, J. et al. (2010) (eds), Criminal Justice: Local and Global, Cullompton: Willan.

Students are also advised to keep up-to-date with current criminological research, government statistics on crime and justice, and media coverage of crime issues throughout the course. Listed below are a number of key sources and websites to bookmark and check regularly.


Asian Journal of Criminology

British Journal of Criminology

Crime, Media, Culture

Criminology and Criminal Justice

Global Crime

Journal of Youth Studies


Theoretical Criminology

Youth and Policy

Youth Justice

News Media

Hong Kong Newspaper Clippings:




Crime and Justice Statistics (Hong Kong)

Hong Kong Census :

Hong Kong Correctional Services – Annual Review:

Hong Kong Fight Crime Committee Reports:

Hong Kong Police Crime Statistics, Police in Figures:

Hong Kong Prison Data:

Hong Kong Social Welfare Publications:

Narcotics Division Research Reports:

Recommended reading

To be announced

Course co-ordinator and teachers