Crime and Punishment
Run by School of History, Philosophy and Social Sciences
20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits
Organiser: Dr Tim Holmes
Overall aims and purpose
- To provide a framework for critically thinking about punitive coercion and a variety of coercive practices.
- To provide a knowledge of the main philosophical perspectives on coercion.
- To provide an overview of how political agents and organizations try to legitimize their coercive activities.
- To develop skills of appreciation, evaluation and appraisal with respect to theoretical argument and empirical research.
- To encourage the development of skills in both oral and written communication.
- To encourage the development of skills in collaborative group-work.
This course focuses on the use or threat of punitive control and violence as a response to serious criminal wrongdoing and perceived security threats. Punitive control refers to the different ways in which state or non-state political agents respond coercively to behaviour and people they regard as criminal, deviant, problematic, worrying, threatening, troublesome or undesirable in some way or another. The main emphasis of the course will be on violent punitive control: control that works through inflicting, or threatening, physical harm and destruction on human bodies. Focusing on a number of topical case-studies, the course deals centrally with the question of how (if at all) punitive control can be morally justified. What is punitive control and how can it be legitimized? What is punishment and is it necessarily a good thing? What should be done about - or to - people who commit terrible crimes? Should murderers be maimed or killed? What would be a just punishment for rape? Can torture ever be justified? Is terrorism ever right or morally understandable? When is it right to fight? What is pre-emptive war, and when (if ever) is it necessary? One of the key objectives of the course will be to provide a framework for thinking clearly about these kinds of questions.
thresholdUnderstand the meaning of coercion. Understand the meaning of punitive/penal control and show an awareness of the various legitimatory accounts for its use. Understand the meaning of punishment and the key philosophical perspectives for thinking about it.
goodUnderstand the meaning of coercion, and the different ways in which various thinkers and political agents try and justify coercive practices. Understand the meaning of punitive/penal control and the various legitimatory accounts for its use. Understand the meaning of punishment and the key philosophical perspectives for thinking about it. Appreciate the relevance of philosophical concepts for thinking about a range of important public issues.
excellentUnderstand the meaning of coercion, and the different ways in which various thinkers and political agents try and justify coercive practices. Understand the meaning of punitive/penal control and the various legitimatory accounts for its use. Understand and critically reflect upon the meaning of punishment and the key philosophical perspectives for thinking about it. Appreciate the relevance of philosophical concepts for thinking about a range of important public issues. Convincingly apply philosophical concepts to current practices of coercion.
- Demonstrate an awareness of how societies respond to behaviour and people they construct as deviant, problematic, threatening, despicable, depraved or evil.
- Demonstrate an awareness of how political agents legitimize the coercive treatment of behaviour and people they construct as deviant, problematic, threatening, despicable, depraved or evil.
- Understand the core theoretical perspectives for thinking about the morality of coercion and penal control.
- Understand the centrality of philosophical/moral theorizing for understanding, and gaining critical insight into, contemporary coercive-punitive practices.
- Apply philosophical/moral perspectives to a range of contemporary coercive-punitive practices.
- Demonstrate an ability to verbally communicate ideas and to work collaboratively among peers.
|Coursework (2,000 words)||40|
|3,000 word essay||60|
Teaching and Learning Strategy
Weekly workshops will be held where several topics will be discussed in depth.
|Students will be taught by means of lectures and seminars. Lectures are intended to provide an overview of a particular topic or perspective, providing an impetus for further independent research and thought on the part of the student. Unlike lectures, seminars are designed to be fully interactive, allowing students to take the lead. Each seminar will be organized around a particular task or theme, and the emphasis will be on collaborate group-work. Students are strongly encouraged to make use of Blackboard, where they will be able to access module announcements, key readings, suggestions for further study, and study tips. Teaching and learning for this module is thus strongly interactive, and students are expected to be active participants in their own learning experience.|
Seminars will be used to discuss various journal papers and debates relating to the use of various forms of punishment.
Courses including this module
Compulsory in courses:
- M93B: BA Criminology & Criminal Just (4yr with Incorp Foundation) year 3 (BA/CCJ1)
- M931: BA Criminology & Criminal Justice with International Exp year 4 (BA/CJIE)
- M930: BA Criminology & Criminal Justice year 3 (BA/CRIM)
- M932: MSocSci Criminology & Criminal Justice year 3 (MSOCSCI/CCJ)
Optional in courses:
- LM3Y: BA Cymdeithaseg&CriminologyCrimJ year 3 (BA/CCCJ)
- MR95: BA Criminology&Criml Just/Italian year 4 (BA/CRIT)
- MC98: BA Criminology/Psychology year 3 (BA/CRP)
- MR94: BA Criminology/Spanish year 4 (BA/CRSP)
- M3Q9: BA English Literature and Criminology and Criminal Justice year 3 (BA/ENC)
- MR91: BA French/Criminology&Crim'l Just year 4 (BA/FRCR)
- MR92: BA Criminology&CrimJustice/German year 4 (BA/GCR)
- MVX1: BA History/Criminology year 3 (BA/HCR)
- LM52: BA Health & Social Care / Criminology & Criminal Justice year 3 (BA/HSCCCJ)
- LM4X: BA Polisi Cymdeithasol & Criminology and Criminal Justice year 3 (BA/PCCCJ)
- LM40: BA Sociology & Criminology & Crim Just with International Ex year 4 (BA/SCJIE)
- LM39: BA Sociology and Criminology & Criminal Justice year 3 (BA/SCR)
- LM50: BA Social Policy and Criminology and Criminal Justice (IE) year 4 (BA/SPCIE)
- LM49: BA Social Policy/Criminology year 3 (BA/SPCR)
- M113: LLB Law with Criminology (Intl Exp) year 4 (LLB/LIK)
- M1M9: LLB Law with Criminology year 3 (LLB/LWCR)
- M1MB: LLB Law with Criminology (4 yr with Incorporated Foundation) year 3 (LLB/LWCR1)