Crime and deviance in PRC

This course is not offered for study in the current academic year.

Course description

The course offers an overview and introduction to the developments of crime and deviance in mainland China from historical, comparative and contemporary perspectives. Exploring conceptual and theoretical frameworks drawn from criminology, law, sociology, and political science, this course enables students to examine patterns, causes of and responses to crime and deviance in China. It examines some important but under-explored areas such as: organized crime, police corruption, guanxi and law, extra-legal protection, anti-corruption, policing serious crime and criminological research methods.

The course presents an excellent opportunity for students to apply theory and knowledge to practical, policy and research problems relating to the emergence of crime and deviance in China.

Course learning outcomes

  • Gain a thorough understanding of sociological perspectives on crime and deviance in China;
  • Critically evaluate certain taken for granted views concerning criminology and criminal justice in China;
  • Develop a detailed knowledge about recent developments of crime and corruption;
  • Analyze in depth the dynamic relationships among crime, markets and society.


Class Participation10%
Group Presentation10%
Essay – 4000 words40%
In-Class Test40%

Required reading

Students are expected to attend class having carried out the relevant readings for the class. Each week, there will be two or three key readings that students must read in preparation, as well as a list of carefully selected additional readings. There is no single text that covers all the themes and issues examined. Nevertheless, you may find Wang, P. (2017). The Chinese Mafia: Organized Crime, Corruption, and Extra-Legal Protection (Oxford University Press) and Bakken, B. ed. (2005), Crime, Punishment, and Policing in China (Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield) particularly useful as key texts.

Recommended reading

Students are 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

Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology

British Journal of Criminology

China Quarterly

China Journal

Crime, Law and Social Change


Criminology and Criminal Justice

Criminology and Public Policy

European Journal of Criminology

Global Crime

Journal of Contemporary China

Journal of Criminal Justice

Justice Quarterly

Law and Policy

Law and Society Review

Policing: a journal of policy and practice (Oxford)

Policing and Society

Punishment and Society

Theoretical Criminology

Trends in Organized Crime

Book Series

Clarendon Studies in Criminology (Oxford University Press)

Cambridge Studies in Criminology (Cambridge University Press)

Organizational Crime (Routledge)

Criminology & Criminal Justice Text/Reader Series (SAGE)

Transnational Crime, Crime Control and Security series (Palgrave Macmillan)

Course co-ordinator and teachers