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SOC8073 : Perpetual Wars? Crime, Policing and (in)Security

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Karenza Moore
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


The aim of this module is to advance your knowledge and understanding of critical and sociological approaches to crime, policing & (in) security in relation to governance, with an emphasis on historical and international aspects. To do this, we focus on three global phenomena which have governance through policing and (in) security at their heart: the War on Terror, the War Crime, and the War on Drugs.

You will build a sociological understanding of the racist and colonial roots of contemporary policing & security and governance formations in all fields. You will explore how the racialised and demonised figures of the ‘Terrorist’, the ‘Criminal', and the ‘Narco’ are used to control and govern specific populations and territories, with implications for social justice and human dignity.

Further, you will develop your sociological imagination so as to map alternative futures to challenge these perpetual and deeply intertwined ‘global wars’. To do this, we explore the production of policy 'roadmaps' which foreground human rights and social justice and engage with radical, abolitionist imaginaries that invite us to build futures without the police and prisons.

Outline Of Syllabus

Policing and Governing Populations
The War on Crime
The War on Drugs
The War on Terror
Intersectionality, Drug Policing and Lived Experiences
Security, Surveillance, Resistance
Building Alternatives to the War on Drugs
Abolitionist, Non-carceral Imaginaries
(plus Assessment Support)

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops12:002:00Assessment Support Workshop (in-person)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops83:0024:00Combines lectures with student-led and small group teaching and learning activities with the whole group.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study13:003:00Three hours of podcasts. Students will choose one of the three podcasts to discuss with peers in class.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1170:00170:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesScheduled on-line contact time11:001:00Online Assessment Support Workshop (to compliment the 2 hour in person one. Should be timetabled for the same (final) week, ie. Week 11 (TW15).
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

8 small group workshops of three hours (with breaks) to enhance student learning, with combination of lecture style and seminar style/small group T&L activities.

An additional 3 hours of in-person/online Assessment Support Workshops in the final week of the module to support students with their essays.

3 hours of (academic) podcast listening to engage students with alternative formats and sources, and encourage peer dialogue and discussion in class.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1A1004000 word essay from a choice of questions.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The module is assessed via an essay that will require students to identify and synthesise relevant source materials. They will need to develop a coherent and logical argument that demonstrates critical thinking, and present this within an essay format with due attention to structure, syntax and referencing.

The essay will help students to develop their written and analytic skills alongside their empirical and theoretical knowledge of the subject. It will also allow students to draw on other learning from the module including class discussions and workshop materials.

Reading Lists