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Physical Violence and Public Order


Admission requirements

  • Students must be enrolled in the CSM Master program;

  • A maximum of 30 students can participate - admitted on a first come, first serve basis

  • At least 8 students must enroll for the course to take place;


Physical violence can have far-reaching societal consequences in terms of victimization and perceptions of security. Think of domestic violence, group-based violence, ideological violence and violence related to (organized) crime. This course will examine the causes, structural characteristics of various types of violence and its effects on public order. The course aims to give insight into how we can assess risk of specific types of violence. We will do so by (1) incorporating theoretical approaches, ranging from subculture of violence theories to mass media theories; (2) assessing the causes and correlates and (3) an in-depth analysis of policy-oriented violence prevention mechanisms. Here, we will explore the effectiveness of various interventions at the individual and group levels.

Course objectives

After completing the course the student will be able to:
1. Students are able to identify, analyze and apply the main conceptual (what is interpersonal violence, what is the scope of interpersonal violence) and theoretical criminological and sociological approaches (including strain, routine activities, differential association) in order to explain general and specific types of interpersonal violence (such as variations of domestic violence, honor-related group-based violence, ideology-motivated violence, violence related to monetary gain, nighttime violence, violence in workplaces and other institutions and violence related to (organized) crime).
2. Students are able to apply these conceptual and theoretical approaches to contemporary subtypes of interpersonal violence by translating these approaches into written policy recommendations according to academic guidelines.
3. Students are capable of understanding and analyzing the main macro, meso and micro-level causes and correlates of interpersonal violence such as family dynamics, modernization processes, shifting male-female power relations in order to critically asses the validity of various theoretical explanations of interpersonal violence.
4. Students are able to critically evaluate existing risk-management strategies such as family intervention, situational approaches and criminal justice approaches, against specific types of interpersonal violence on a macro, meso and micro level context in order to assess their effectiveness.
5. Students are able to give a high-quality presentation (elevator pitch) on the effectiveness of risk-management strategies for a specific type of interpersonal violence, for both an academic as well as a professional audience.


On the right-hand side of the programme front page of the E-guide you will find links to the website and timetables, uSis and Blackboard.

Mode of instruction

The course consists of seven seminars. Attendance is mandatory.

Course Load

Total study load: 140 hrs., of which:

  • contact hours: 21

  • self-study hours: 119

Assessment method

Students need to hand in:

  • Weekly quiz (25% of final grade);

  • Mid-term assignment consisting of a short literature review, which also functions as the introductory paragraph of the final paper (15% of final grade);

  • A short presentation covering the topic of the two papers (10% of final grade);

  • Final paper consisting of a risk management strategy for a type of interpersonal violence (50% of final grade).

Compensation rule: Only assessments with the weight lower than 30% are compensable. This means that one does not have to pass an assessment if it weighs less than 30% in order to pass the course, if the average of all assessments combined is at least a 5.5. In addition, assignments with less than 30% are not resitable, meaning that if one failed an assessment of less than 30%, one is not allowed to redo it.

Re-sit: Paper consisting of a risk management strategy for a type of interpersonal violence.


The corresponding Blackboard course will become available one week prior to the start of the first seminar.

Reading list

The reading list consists of a selection of articles, to be announced on Blackboard.


Register for every course and workgroup via uSis. Some courses and workgroups have a limited number of participants, so register on time (before the course starts). In uSis you can access your personal schedule and view your results. Registration in uSis is possible from four weeks before the start of the course.

Also register for every course in Blackboard. Important information about the course is posted there.


Dr. M. Liem: