ATS3308 - Politics of crime - 2019

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit


Chief examiner(s)

Dr Nicholas Economou


Dr Nicholas Economou

Not offered in 2019


Twelve credit points of second-year Arts units.


The unit will engage students with to examine the factors that shape public policy outcomes and the consequences that result from policy choices in responding to crime and criminal justice. This unit examines the significant and lasting effects of the politics of law and order on different populations in our society. Students are tasked to consider a range of issues including popular and punitive approaches to crime, Indigenous politics, and the struggles of access to justice for individuals and groups from non-English speaking backgrounds and those experiencing socio-economic disadvantage. Students will be shown the politicisation of criminal justice and the process through which political leaders use criminal justice issues to enhance their own popularity, electability, or power. Students will unpack political considerations and their effect on crime through the lawmaking process as they influence laws and criminal justice responses that legislatures enact. Further we contrast the politicisation of crime in Australia with our international neighbours.


Upon successful completion of the unit, students will be able to:

  1. critically assess the political influence on criminal justice policies and lawmaking in Australia;
  2. explain the historical context of law and order discourse and how it informs contemporary understandings of criminal behavior;
  3. evaluate the influence of politics and policy on a range of social responses to crime;
  4. explain the differential outcomes of criminal justice policy on different population groups;
  5. apply research skills to critically evaluate the politicisation of criminal justice.


Within semester assessment: 60% + Exam: 40%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information