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Crime and Criminal Justice: East Asian Perspectives


Admission requirements

Students who are interested in taking this course, but who are not admitted to one of the mentioned master programmes are requested to contact their co-ordinator of studies.


This course will address various developments in formal and informal responses to crime in East Asia (here: Japan, China and South Korea), with an emphasis on Japan. It will examine some of the diverse ways in which crime is addressed, prevented and controlled in these countries by both state and non state actors. While acknowledging diversity, the course also aims to address shared influences and themes.
Topics that will be addressed include:

  • Trends in criminal justice (with a specific focus on the death penalty, the increased attention for crime victims and increased participation of lay people in criminal justice in East Asia).

  • Trends in crime prevention strategies.

  • The impact, if any, of “Asian values” on formal and informal responses to crime.
    Through addressing these topics the course will engage with existing criminological and (legal) sociological theories and paradigms, many of which developed in North American and European contexts. By doing so it will explore the ways in which insights gained within Japanese, Chinese and South Korean contexts may inform, contribute to, refute or build upon these theories and paradigms.

Course objectives

The main goal of this seminar is to provide students with a grounding in relevant criminological and (legal)sociological theories, and a good grasp of important trends and developments in formal and informal responses to crime in Japan, China and Korea, with an emphasis on Japan. The course also aims to foster students’ analytical skills through the reading and discussion of the assigned theorical and empirical readings, as well as their ability to develop and present their own argument in written work and oral presentations. Students will also receive instructions for conducting independent research, a survey of the literature in their field of interest, and the writing of a major research paper.


The timetable is available on the Asianstudies website

Mode of instruction


Course Load

10 ects = 280 hours

  • Hours spent on attending lectures and seminars (2 hours per week x 12 weeks = 24 hours)

  • Time for studying the compulsory literature (6 hours x 12 weeks = 72 hours)

  • Time needed to prepare for presentation and other assignments, to conduct research and write papers: 184 hours

Assessment method

  • Participation element (including attendance, assignments and presentation): 35%

  • Analytic element (position papers): 25%

  • Research element (research essay 4,000 words): 40%

The research essay is written in two stages: a first version, which will be commented on, and a final version. Students who do not meet the deadline for the first version will lose the right to get comments and will only be graded based on their final version. Students who do not meet the deadline for the final version, will get a failing grade.

In order to pass the course, students must obtain an overall mark of 5.50 (=6) or higher.

The course is an integrated whole. All categories must be completed in the same academic year. No partial marks can be carried over into following years.

Exam Review

Students may request an oral elucidation of the assessment within 30 days after publication of the grade.


Blackboard plays an essential part in this course. All important information about the course, including the syllabus, course requirements, course readings and announcements will be available on the course website. As part of class participation, students will also be required to make postings on the Blackboard website. Blackboard access is therefore essential in order to complete this course.
See for more info Blackboard


See Blackboard, Course Documents.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.