Global and comparative criminology

Offer semester
2nd semester

Lecture time
Friday 19:00 – 21:50

Lecture venue

Course description

For a few decades, globalization has been a widely discussed and studied topic.  Depending on different perspectives, such as Economics, Politics and Sociology, globalization has different meanings and perceived impacts to our day-to-day lives.  There are numerous definitions in the flourishing globalization literature.   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 exclusively ‘local’ or national contexts.  Therefore, ‘global’ issues such as warfare, human trafficking and environmental malfeasance 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.

To criminologists, the challenges may lie not only in the emergence of global connectedness, but also on how our lives, including our values, security, crime and punishment are affected by events and social orders in other parts of the world.  In other words, criminologists should be curious of how criminal activities that are taking place in the local context, such as organized crimes and cyber-crime, may be affected by factors operating at an indefinite distance away.  This course will therefore equip students with the theoretical and methodological tools to ‘reach for the global’ in their criminological imagination.

Course learning outcomes

By the end of the course, the students are expected to:

  1. Critically assess some of the major theories and methodological debates within the field of global and comparative criminology.
  2. Evaluate the significance of global and comparative perspectives for understanding crime and crime control.
  3. Have a good understanding of how a few major crimes proliferate during the process of globalization.
  4. Consolidate key transferable skills in communication and literacy through reading, project preparation and written presentations.

Course co-ordinator and teachers

  • David Ng

    Adjunct Associate Professor