Research themes

Candidates entering the programme will choose one of four research themes linked to a pair of partners and a supervisory team. To this end, the programme has defined four broad thematic areas which address contemporary issues and problems in criminology, and marry the interests and strengths of members of the consortium. At all times the innovative combination of social science and law-based approaches will inform the research and associated training. These four themes will provide a structure for the candidates who will be required to choose a research topic within one of the thematic areas and will be encouraged to develop a team approach to their doctoral training with the other candidates in the same area. The four thematic areas are as follows.

Crime, Media and Culture

Critical studies of crime and control at two levels, as experienced in local cultures, and as felt and understood in different forms of globalised media and communications; the interaction between these two levels; the relationships between crime and the mainstream cultural values, including those of consumerism and popular fiction; emotions such as fear and hatred; cultural approaches to the study of illicit drugs, young people’s transgression, violence, terrorism, as well as corporate/white-collar, organised and ‘green’ crime.

Criminal Justice Policy, Social Change and Exclusion

Critical studies of the effects of social change on such problems as criminality, social and legal exclusion, and responses in crime policy, criminal justice, human rights policy and crime control. This may include the complex processes of market, social and political changes of transitional societies in the light of globalization and global value changes, transformation of values and norms and their consequences, the problems of young people and the relationship between exclusion and transgression, the global and local aspects of social exclusion, and the new forms of criminality as well as crime policy responses. The issue of ‘transitional justice’, where democratic regimes deal with the human rights violations of their predecessors, has a significance in many parts of the world.

Globalisation, Transnational Crime and Control

Critical studies of the effects of globalisation on crime, social harm, criminal justice, and crime control. Key areas include: the links between local cultures and global circuits in, for example, illegal drugs and human trafficking, and the networks that sustain them; environmental harm, as well as the effects of these problems on national and international policy; the transnational dimensions of corporate, state, political and organised crime.

Human Rights and International Security

Critical studies of the impacts of terrorism and migration on security policy; the effects of a changing security landscape on human rights and traditional criminal justice concepts, as well as on criminology as a discipline; the effects of the internationalisation of crime, and criminal and security policy on human rights; the implications for the study of European and international human rights conventions and their relationship to wider concepts of ‘rights’ in the economic, social and cultural spheres.

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