Jul 24, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
    
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

IS 540 Law, Disorder and Globalization


In the late 20th century, there was a global turn towards criminalization and incarceration as responses to social problems—to “disorder.” While justified by claims about increases in crime, this “penal turn” often precedes such increases, and so cannot be explained by crime rates alone. The politics of crime are a useful way to examine many social and political changes, such as the criminalization of poor and African-American youth and “urban decline” in U.S. inner cities. This course will examine how these politics help construct inequality in the U.S.; we will also consider how they shape international relationships between the U.S., Europe, and nation-states in Latin America and Africa. As part of this, we will examine how criminalization creates social hierarchies, in which some types of people and some nation-states are seen as inherently criminal and disorderly. We will discuss a range of specific cases that allow us to understand the factors that motivate the penal turn, exploring the ways the penal turn has material consequences that encourage future criminalization, such as for-profit prisons.