Spring 2019 - CRIM 313 J100

Specific Types of Crimes (3)

State-sponsored Crimes

Class Number: 7033

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sa 1:30 PM – 4:20 PM
    HCC 1425, Vancouver

  • Instructor:

    Charmaine Perkins
  • Prerequisites:

    CRIM 101.



Critical analysis of a specific type of crime with particular emphasis on the nature, the incidence, correlates, control and prevention. Special attention may be given to white collar crime, computer crime, organized crime, violent crimes, political crimes, sexual offence, professional crimes, morality crime, etc.


This course provides an introduction to mass crimes, atrocities, and “grave” human rights abuses. Several disciplines have contributed to the broader field of genocide studies, and there have been questions about what contributions Criminology can make. One of the aims of this course is to expand on how we conceptualize crime, harm, and the actions of offenders/perpetrators, including crimes perpetrated by state agents and various groups against civilian populations. Understanding what often seems incomprehensible-the complexity of mass crimes such as genocide and crimes against humanity-throughout this course students are encouraged to adopt structural (macro) and individual (micro) criminological approaches and prominent theories and evaluate their effectiveness as well as limitations in explaining these phenomena.

This course introduces students to international law, declarations and conventions, and case studies. Debates rightly question the efficacy of these instruments in light of the failure of the international community to intervene in and prevent contemporary atrocities and human rights abuses. Other issues for examination include state sovereignty, impunity, culpability and responsibility, intervention and the limitations of purely legal/judicial approaches in seeking justice. Consideration is also given to what historical cases have shown us and our collective stake in upholding the ideals of human rights as global citizens and advocates. Incorporating diverse sources/media allows for the exploration of multiple perspectives and approaches to these issues.


  • Seminar Participation 10%
  • Seminar Presentation 15%
  • Critical responses - 3 responses due throughout the semester. 30%
  • Weekly 10-liners 15%
  • Book review/project - Due in Week 9 30%



1. Power, S. (2002). “A problem from hell”: America and the age of genocide. New York: Perennial, Harper Collins Publishers  

2. Savelsberg, J. (2010). Crime and human rights: Criminology of genocide and atrocities. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications Ltd.

3.Other articles/readings will be available online, in addition to books on reserve in the library. In addition to these materials, several documentaries will be screened. Students will be presented with a list of books for their book review.

Department Undergraduate Notes:

ATTENTION: STUDENTS WITH A DISABILITY: Please contact the Centre for Students with Disabilities, (MBC 1250 or Phone 778-782-3112) if you need or require assistance, not your individual instructors.  

  • N.B.: Students are reminded that attendance in the first week of classes is important. However, there are no tutorials in the first week.
  • ON CAMPUS COURSES ONLY: Assignments not submitted to the Professor/T.A. during class/office hours must be placed in the security box behind the General Office (ASSC 10125), or submitted as per Professor’s instructions for courses taking place at Surrey Campus. The assignment drop-off box is emptied Monday to Friday at 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. only and the contents are date stamped accordingly. No other department’s date stamp will apply (e.g. Library/Campus Security) and the School of Criminology is not responsible for assignments submitted any other way (e.g. slid under office doors). The University does NOT accept assignments by fax. 
  • A student must complete ALL aspects of a course (including assignments, exams, class participation, presentations, chat room components of Distance Education courses and other), otherwise he/she will receive a grade of N. 
  • E-mail policy for on campus courses only: The School of Criminology STRONGLY DISCOURAGES the use of e-mail in lieu of office hour visits. Criminology advises its instructional staff that they are NOT required to respond to student e-mails and that students wishing to confer with them should do so in person during scheduled meeting times.
  • The University has formal policies regarding intellectual dishonesty and grade appeals which may be obtained from the General Office of the School of Criminology.
  • Under GP18, the University has policies and procedures which respond to our obligations under the BC Human Rights Code to provide a harassment and discrimination free environment for the students, staff and faculty of this institution.  Members of this community have an affirmative obligation to safeguard the human rights of others.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html