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Crime and Criminal Justice: East Asian Perspectives (ResMA)


Admission requirements

Admission to the MA Middle Eastern Studies (research). Students from other programmes are kindly referred to the course description of the regular MA course.


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.


See timetable of the MA Asian Studies (research).

Mode of instruction


Attendance and participation are obligatory for seminars. Students are required to attend all sessions. The convenors need to be informed without delay of any classes missed for a good reason (i.e. due to unforeseen circumstances such as illness, family issues, problems with residence permits, the Dutch railways in winter, etc.). In these cases it is up to the discretion of the convener(s) of the course whether or not the missed class will have to be made up with an extra assignment. Being absent without notification can result in a lower grade or exclusion from the term end exams and a failing grade for the course.

Course Load

10 ects = 280 hours

  • Hours spent on attending lectures and seminars 2 x 2 hours per week during block III (six weeks)

  • Extra contact hours Research MA students: 6 hours during block IV.

  • 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: 178 hours

Assessment method

Academic Integrity

Students are expected to be familiar with Leiden University policies on plagiarism and academic integrity. Plagiarism will not be tolerated. If you submit any work with your name affixed to it, it is assumed to be your own work with all sources used properly indicated and documented in the text (with quotations and/or citations). It is also unacceptable for students to reuse portions of texts they had previously authored and have already received academic credit for on this or other courses. In such cases, students are welcome to self-cite so as to minimise overlap between prior and new work.

Students must submit their assignment(s) to the blackboard through turnitin, so they can be checked for plagiarism. Submission via email is not accepted.

Assessment and weighing

Partial Assessment Weighing
Participation element (including attendance, assignments and presentation) 35%
Analytic element (position papers) 25%
Research element (research essay 4,000 words) 40%

Research Essay
The 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.

Late submissions of the final version will result in a deduction of grades as follows: 1-24 hrs late = -0.5; 24-48 hrs late = -1.0; 48-72 hrs late = -1.5; 72-96 hrs late = -2.0. Late essays will not be accepted more than four days after the deadline, including weekends and will be graded with 1.0.

The final mark for this course is formed by the weighted average.
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 assessment parts must be completed in the same academic year. No partial marks can be carried over into following years.


Only if the total weighted average is insufficient (5.49 or lower) and the insufficient grade is the result of an insufficient paper, a resit of the paper is possible (40%). In that case the convener of the course may assign a (new) topic and give a new deadline.

A resit of the other partial assessments is not possible.

Exam Review

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


d 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.

Note: there is no separate Blackboard page available for this ResMa course. Please subscribe to the Blackboard page of the regular MA course.


See Blackboard, Course Documents.

For the Research MA students additional readings will be determined by the convener at a later stage taking into account the students’ fields of interest. The extra sessions will be used to discuss the additional literature.


Students are required to register through uSis. To avoid mistakes and problems, students are strongly advised to register in uSis through the activity number which can be found in the timetable in the column under the heading “USIS-Actnbr.”. More information on uSis is available in Dutch and English. You can also have a look at the FAQ.

Not being registered, means no permission to attend this course. See also the webpage on course and exam enrolment for registration deadlines and more information on how to register.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


Dr. E.D.Herber


Students with disabilities

The university is committed to supporting and accommodating students with disabilities as stated in the university protocol (especially pages 3-5). Students should contact Fenestra Disability Centre at least four weeks before the start of their courses to ensure that all necessary academic accommodations can be made in time conform the abovementioned protocol.