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While organised crime has existed for centuries, it is only recently that the international community has begun to take it seriously as a transnational ‘soft’ (i.e. non-military) security issue. For example, the most frequently cited convention against transnational organised crime – that of the UN – dates only from 2000. Similarly, while drug and weapons trafficking has long been a concern of states and IOs (International Organisations), the focus on human trafficking essentially dates from the late-1990s. Human trafficking is now seen as the fastest growing form of trafficking and, along with cybercrime, the preferred form of criminal activity for an increasing number of criminal gangs and organisations. This subject will explore both the phenomena of transnational organised crime (TOC) and human trafficking, and the discourses surrounding them. The coverage will be international, but with an emphasis on Europe and South-east Asia. The subject will focus on trafficking for purposes of sexual exploitation, but will also consider other forms of human trafficking.
Intended learning outcomes
On completion of this subject, students should be able to:
- Critically examine the definitional debates on both organised crime and trafficking;
- Identify the main activities of contemporary (since WWII) organised crime – globally, but with a particular emphasis on both Europe/Asia and human trafficking;
- Examine the various methods used to measure the scale of organised crime activity and human trafficking;
- Elaborate and evaluate the main theories of the reasons for organised crime and its dynamism;
- Consider the relative merits and weaknesses of the abolitionist and regulationist positions on human trafficking;
- Study and assess the approaches of states, IOs, NGOs (non-government organisations) and other agencies to organised crime and trafficking.
•Research: through competent use of the library and other information sources (inc. online), and the definition of areas of inquiry and methods of research.
•Critical Thinking and Analysis: through recommended reading, briefing and essay writing, and seminar discussion, and by determining the strength of an argument.
•Thinking in Theoretical Terms: through seminar discussion, essay writing and engagement in the methodologies of the humanities and social sciences.
•Thinking Creatively: through essay writing, seminar discussion and presentations, conceptualising theoretical problems, forming judgements and arguments from conflicting evidence and by critical analysis.
•Understanding of Social, Ethical and Cultural Context: through the contextualisation of judgements, developing a critical self-awareness, being open to new ideas and possibilities and by constructing an argument.
•Communicating Knowledge Intelligibly and Economically: through briefing and essay writing, and seminar discussion.
•Written Communication: through briefing and essay preparation and writing.
•Oral Presentation: through seminar discussion and informal class presentations.
•Time Management and Planning: through managing and organising workloads for recommended reading, essay and assignment completion.
•Group Work: through group discussions.
Last updated: 15 July 2021