Taming Business? Crime, Law and Politics

Subject CRIM90004 (2014)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2014.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2014.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 2-hour seminar per week for 12 weeks.
Total Time Commitment:

120 hours

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Criminology at Undergraduate level

Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website: http://www.services.unimelb.edu.au/disability/


Prof Fiona Haines: fsh@unimelb.edu.au

Subject Overview:

The activities of businesses are central to every aspect of our lives from the food we eat, to our financial security and our health. But, businesses from the small local shop to large international corporations also can cause death and injury both within and outside of work, significant financial loss, economic hardship and environmental destruction. This subject tackles whether and how we can ‘tame business’ to provide for our needs without creating such damage. We examine previous attempts at control, from criminalisation and regulation to NGO pressure, that have seen some success but significant levels of failure. Through case studies and class discussion the critical relationships business and government, and government and the public, which frames the way in which these harms are dealt with are understood. Students also critically examine how governments and those affected have sought to control business in the global economy. In doing so, we analyse the growing use of corporate codes of conduct, and the central role played by NGOs in prompting change at the global and local level. Students completing the subject will have a good understanding of the political and economic challenges that are associated with controlling business crime and harm and will be able to assess critically a variety of different forms of controls in different settings.

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this subject students should be able to:

  • understand the complex range of, and reasons for, harmful business conduct
  • critically assess a range of methods for reducing harms associated with business
  • conduct library and field research into areas of business harm and regulation
  • present orally and in writing reports of this research.

A short essay of 1000 words (20%) due early in semester; a brief oral presentation (10%) arranged through the second half of semester (speaking notes of 500 words or less will be submitted); and a research essay of 3500 words (70%) due in the examination period.

Hurdle Requirement: Students are required to attend a minimum of 75% of classes in order to qualify to have their written work assessed. Regular participation in class is required.

Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per working day. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available for purchase from the University Bookshop. Case studies for discussion will be provided by the School.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • Have an advanced understanding of the relevant knowledge base in the specialist area.
  • have the ability to evaluate and synthesise the research and professional literature in the specialist area.
  • have well-developed problem-solving skills in the specialist area.
  • Understand the complex range of, and reasons for, compliant or deviant conduct.
  • have significant capacity to articulate knowledge and understanding in oral and written presentations.
  • have a capacity to engage where appropriate with issues in contemporary society.
  • describe and evaluate regulatory techniques and practices.
  • conduct library and field research into areas of regulator control.
  • present orally and in writing reports of their research.
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: 100 Point Master of Criminology
100 Point Master of Public Policy and Management
150 Point Master of Criminology
150 Point Master of Public Policy and Management
200 Point Master of Criminology
200 Point Master of Public Policy and Management
Socio-Legal Studies

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