CCGL9048 Global Issues

Global Crime and Injustice

[This course is under the thematic cluster of ‘Sustaining Cities, Cultures, and the Earth’.]


Course Description

This course aims to introduce students to the varied ways of thinking about the crime problem and the consequences of the globalization of economic, political and cultural activities across the world. It introduces a number of key concepts in sociology, criminology and human rights that will help students develop a more inclusive and imaginative picture of how their lives are shaped by events and social institutions far removed from their local contexts and the range of harms that individuals and communities may be subjected to across the global North and South divide. Just as ‘global’ issues such as warfare, human trafficking, and environmental problems 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. Overall, the course will examine whether and how globalization may bring various risks and new harms which challenge our conventional understanding of the problem of crime and justice.

In this context, there is growing recognition of the importance of new geographical sites of knowledge production, in particular those beyond traditional Anglo-American bases of power. This course will therefore equip students with the theoretical and methodological tools to ‘reach for the global’ in their criminological imagination by drawing on a range of case-studies framed from the global and comparative perspective.

Course Learning Outcomes

On completing the course, students will be able to:

  1. Describe and explain the different ways of understanding crime and justice in a local and global context and the links between the two.
  2. Reflect on the contemporary debates surrounding the nature, politics and efficacy of crime, social harm and their control.
  3. Apply interdisciplinary concepts and ideas to the study of crime, its differential impact on social groups, and global responses to crime and social harm.
  4. Apply active learning skills and cooperate in group work and novel situations.

Offer Semester and Day of Teaching

First semester (Wed)


Study Load

Activities Number of hours
Lectures 24
Tutorials 10
Reading / Self-study 25
Assessment: Essay / Report writing 30
Assessment: Debate 20
Assessment: Group project 40
Total: 149

Assessment: 100% coursework

Assessment Tasks Weighting
Problem-based learning sessions 30
Individual self-reflection portfolio 30
Group project 40

Required Reading

2-3 article or chapter length readings will be assigned as required readings per week. The following list is tentative, but will include readings such as:

  • Anderson, E. (1994, May). The Code of the Streets. The Atlantic. From http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1994/05/the-code-of-the-streets/306601/
  • Andrijasevic, R., & Walters, W. (2010). The international organization for migration and the international government of borders. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 28, 977-999.
  • Brafman, O., & Beckstrom, R. A. (2006). The starfish and the spider: The unstoppable power of leaderless organizations. [pp. 31-53]
  • Brown, W. (2010). Walled states, waning sovereignty. New York: Zone. [pp. 7-42]
  • Brulle, R. J. (2016, January 6). America has been duped on climate change. The Washington Post. From https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/in-theory/wp/2016/01/06/america-has-been-lied-to-about-climate-change/?tid=pm_opinions_pop_b
  • Campbell, C. (2002/1972). The cult, the cultic milieu and secularization. In J. Kaplan & H. Lööw (Eds.), The cultic milieu: Oppositional subcultures in an age of globalization (pp.12-25). Walnut Creek, CA: Altamira Press.
  • Castells, M. (2003). The global criminal economy. In E. McLaughlin, et al. (Eds), Criminological Perspectives – Essential Readings (2nd ed., pp. 516-526). London: Sage.
  • Florida, R. (2005, October). The world is spiky. The Atlantic, 48-51.
  • Fraser, A. (2013). Street habitus: Gangs, territorialism and social change in Glasgow. Journal of Youth Studies, 16(8), 970-985.
  • Giddens, A. (2004, November 10). The future of world society: the new terrorism. Lecture delivered at the London School of Economics.
  • Hagedorn, J. (Ed.). (2007). Gangs in the global city: Alternatives to traditional criminology. Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press. [Chap. 1]
  • Haggerty, K. D. (2009). Modern serial killers. Crime, Media, Culture, 5(2), 168-187.
  • Hiebert, M. S. (2011). The role of globalization in the causes, consequences, prevention, and punishment of genocide. [pp. 193-222]
  • Hobbs, D. (1998). Going down the glocal. Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, 37(4), 1-19.
  • Izadi, E. (2015, December 18). One out of 122 humans today has been forced to flee their home, U.N. says. The Washington Post. From https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2015/12/18/one-out-of-122-humans-today-has-been-forced-to-flee-their-home-u-n-says/?postshare=831450473731792&tid=ss_mail
  • Jensen, D. (2009). Forget shorter showers. Orion magazine.
  • Joosse, P. (2012). Elves, environmentalism, and ‘eco-terror’: Leaderless resistance and media coverage of the earth liberation front. Crime, Media Culture, 8(1), 75-93.
  • Joosse, P., Bucerius, S., & Thompson, S. K. (2015). Narratives and counternarratives: Somali-Canadians on recruitment as foreign fighters to al-Shabaab. British Journal of Criminology, 55(4), 811-832.
  • Li, J. (2014). The religion of the nonreligious and the politics of the apolitical: The transformation of Falun Gong from healing practice to political movement. Politics and Religion, 7(01), 177-208.
  • Lo, T. W. (2012). Triadization of youth gangs in Hong Kong. British Journal of Criminology, 52(3), 556-576.
  • Mascarenhas, M. (2015). Environmental Inequality and Environmental Justice. In K. Gould & T. Lewis (Eds.), Twenty lessons in environmental sociology. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Molland, S. (2011). “I am helping them”: “Traffickers”, “anti-traffickers” and economies of bad faith. Australian Journal of Anthropology, 22, 236-254.
  • Oriola, T., Haggerty, K., & Knight, A. W. (2013). Car bombing ‘with due respect’: The Niger Delta insurgency and the idea called MEND. African Security, 6(1), 67-96.
  • Pickering, S. (2014). Floating carceral spaces: Border enforcement and gender on the high seas. Punishment & Society, 16(2), 187–205.
  • Sandberg, S., Oksanen A., Berntzen, L. Erik., & Kiilakoski, T. (2014). Stories in action: the cultural influences of school shootings on the terrorist attacks in Norway. Critical Studies on Terrorism, 7(2), 277-296.
  • Stark, R. (1987). How new religions succeed: A theoretical model. The future of new religious movements. [pp. 11-29]
  • Van Veeren, E. (2014). Materializing US security: Guantanamo’s object lessons and concrete messages. International Political Sociology, 8(1), 20–42.
  • Wright, R. (2004). Fool’s Paradise. A Short History of Progress. House and Anansi. [pp. 55-79]
  • Zelinsky, A., & Shubik, M. (2009). Research note: Terrorist groups as business firms: A new typological framework. Terrorism and Political Violence, 21(2), 327-336.

Course Co-ordinator and Teacher(s)

Course Co-ordinator Contact
Dr P. Joosse
Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences
Tel: 3917 8533
Email: pjoosse@hku.hk
Teacher(s) Contact
Dr P. Joosse
Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences
Tel: 3917 8533
Email: pjoosse@hku.hk