POLIS 2001 - The Politics of Crime and Justice

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2018

This course employs current international scholarship in political science, criminology and sociology, as well as contemporary international case studies, to examine the relationships between politics, crime and justice. It introduces students to the scholarly debates on crime (including political crime), justice and punishment. It also investigates the major components of the criminal justice systems (police, courts, and corrections) across various political systems, ranging from liberal democracy to authoritarianism. In doing so, it seeks to explain the politicization of criminal justice systems on issues as diverse as corruption, drugs, gender and sexuality. In suggesting new ways of analysing the politics of crime and justice, this course pays attention to the social consequences of crime's increasing political saliency, including patterns of marginalization and constructions of deviance. The course also examines state crime and crime across borders. It explores transnational terrorism, human and drug trafficking, genocide, war crimes and other crimes against humanity. The course ends with the discussion of how countries emerging from periods of conflict and repression address large scale or systematic human rights violations.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code POLIS 2001
    Course The Politics of Crime and Justice
    Coordinating Unit Politics and International Relations
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites At least 12 units of Level I undergraduate study
    Assessment Essay (2,000 words) 45%, Online tests 25%, Group Project 20%, SGD Participation 10%
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Czeslaw Tubilewicz

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 define and understand key concepts of crime, justice and punishment from the perspective of political science
    2 apply conceptual approaches to identify and solve problems relating to the politics of crime and justice within international social, political, economic and cultural contexts
    3 critically analyse successes and failures of justice systems around the world
    4 explain the politicization of criminal justice systems on such issues as corruption, drugs, gender and sexuality
    5 examine the scope and significance of transnational terrorism, human and drug trafficking, genocide, war crimes and other crimes against humanity, as well as transitional justice
    6 participate in group discussions about contested concepts with confidence and with tolerance for other points of view
    7 develop communication and teamwork skills
    8 demonstrate career readiness and leadership skills appropriate for beginning professional practice, including lifelong learning skills characterised by academic rigor, self-direction and intellectual independence
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    1, 6
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    6, 8
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    The Course Reader is available both online and in print.
    Online Learning
     MyUni will include all lecture notes, lecture recordings, course readings and guidelines regarding submission of particular assessment tasks. 
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Lectures will be supported by problem-solving small-group discovery (SGD) activities. SGD activities will develop students’ academic literacy, research skills, teamwork and leadership skills.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    2 x 1-hour lectures per week 24 hours per semester
    1 x 1-hour SGD per week 12 hours per semester
    6 hours reading per week 72 hours per semester
    2 hours research per week 24 hours per semester
    2 hours assignment preparation per week 24 hours per semester
    TOTAL = 156 hours per semester
    Learning Activities Summary
    Week 1 Introduction to the course
    Week 2 International justice systems
    Week 3 International policing
    Week 4 The politics of punishment 1: Criminalization of drugs
    Week 5 The politics of punishment 2: Pornography and (de)criminalization of sex work
    Week 6 The politics of punishment 3: Criminalization of sex and sexuality
    Week 7 Corruption
    Week 8 Transnational crime
    Week 9 Terrorism
    Week 10 Crimes against humanity
    Week 11 Transitional justice
    Specific Course Requirements
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    SGDE will involve seminars, composed of about 40-50 students, who will engage in collective solving of problems, developing group projects and presenting their findings to other students
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Task Type Weighting Learning Outcome
    2,000 word essay Summative 45% 1-5
    Online tests Summative 25% 1-5
    Group projects Summative 20% 1-8
    SGD participation Formative and summative 10% 6-8
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Assessment Detail
    2,000 word essay: students will be required to write a 2,000 word research essay on one particular aspect of the politics of justice and crime discussed in this course - 45% weighting.

    Online tests: students will be required to attempt two online tests - 25% weighting.

    Group projects: students will be required to engage in group work in order to produce an academic project on an assigned topic - 20% weighting.

    SGD participation: students engage in interaction in class activities and the cooperative sharing of ideas and information - 10% weighting.
    Essays will be submitted electronically through the assignment feature in MyUni and to TURNITIN. For submission deadline, specific submission guidelines, extension policies and penalties for late submissions please refer to the Course Guide.

    Group projects will be submitted electronically through the assignment feature in MyUni and to TURNITIN. For submission deadline, specific submission guidelines, extension policies and penalties for late submissions please refer to the Course Guide.

    Online tests will be completed online.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

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