School of Politics and International Relations

POL398 American Politics, Carceral State and Social Movements

(POL398B - Spring)

Level: 6

Semester: B

Credit Value: 15

Module Convenor: TBC

Overlap: None

Pre-requisite: POL250 19/20 pre-requisite: POL254

Compulsory for: None

Associate Availability: Full year and Autumn only


This module examines various aspects of the carceral state and how they have changed over time.  It introduces students to (a) the various aspects of the carceral state - policing, courts, incarceration and parole and (b) the political, social and economic controversies ramifications of such policies.  The module will cover a range of controversial methods, for example: the criminalization of drugs and the subsequent rise of misdemeanor decriminalization, comparative analysis of incarceration across United States and Western Europe, the growing militarization of the police and police discretion, civil forfeiture, changing of valence of race across time and space, social movements against the carceral state and future trends.

Students will be expected to gain an understanding of the carceral state and their limits, and evaluate their political and social effects.

Assessment: 1 x Essay 1500 words (40%) and 1 x Essay 3000 words (60%)