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Crime and deviance in PRC

Offer semester
1st semester

Lecture time
Tuesday 6:30pm – 10:00pm

Lecture venue

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, military corruption, guanxi and law, extra-legal protection, prison, 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

  • Know how to apply advanced knowledge of research on criminological issues
  • Know how to assess policy proposals and implementation strategies related to current developments in criminology
  • Know how to conduct criminological analysis and research in Hong Kong, the People’s Republic of China, and in an international context
  • Understand the working of agencies other than their own and of the criminal justice system as a whole
  • Know how to distinguish between a scientific/professional approach to crime and deviance and how to identify
  • Be able to communicate effectively, both in writing and in class presentation, and relate concepts to research through their participation in dissertation writing and class discussion


Class Participation20%
Group Presentation20%
Essay – 4000 words30%
In-Class Test30%

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