CRS: Prisons and Punishment as Global (In)Justice
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Level: Undergraduate
Division: University-wide Programs
Department: Global Studies
Course Number: UGLB 3731
Course Format: Seminar
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
  • Global Studies
  • Human Rights
  • Politics
Democratic countries assume the prevalence of the rule of law and of justice, and promise justice for all. Yet even in democratic societies there are spaces of lawlessness where detainees are deprived of their most basic human rights. This collaborative research seminar will explore how governmental strategies of incarceration and detention emerge from and against the rule of law in democratic states around the world. We explore “exceptional” spaces such as the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, where prisoners are held indefinitely with no charges made against them, CIA secret prisons known as "black sites," located outside the United States, migrant detention islands such as Australia’s Christmas Island or Italy’s Lampedusa, and Israeli practices of “administrative detention.” We will connect the emergence of these sites and practices to the way the prison system has evolved within democratic countries, especially the United States, and how the increasing neoliberal approach to prisons and punishment influences and interacts with the global War on Terror. The class will include guest speakers and site visits (including, if possible, to a prison or detention center). The students will write four blog responses to site visits or guest speakers, analyzing them in light of theoretical issues raised in the class. Students will work collaboratively to develop analytical policy papers on key issues, such as detention policies, privatization of prisons, black sites, or whistle blowers.
Course Open to: Degree Students


Open to Undergraduate students.