MA course: (De)Criminalisation – An Intersectional Perspective – University of Krakow, Poland (2022).

Syllabus designed by Dr Agata Dziuban and Dr Justyna Struzik at the Institute of Sociology at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland, during Spring 2022.

Syllabus designed by Dr Agata Dziuban and Dr Justyna Struzik at the Institute of Sociology at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland, during Spring 2022.

Course Description

Social science and humanities scholars have been documenting an enhanced turn to criminalisation in the European region and globally. This trend is characterised by growing support for the application of criminal law, crime control measures and legal vocabularies in many spheres of social life. The aim of this course is an in-depth, intersectional analysis of the contemporary processes of criminalisation. During the class, students will have a chance to explore different theoretical perspectives and academic debates on criminalisation, and broader mechanisms of juridification, in democratic societies. While grasping criminalisation as a mode of democratic governance, this class will offer a possibility to ask about the roots, contexts, historical manifestations and impact of increased reliance on criminal law in managing society and citizenship-state relations. It will also allow to inquire the different ways in which criminalised individuals and groups navigate, negotiate, contest and resist criminalisation, and claim their rights. Within the framework of this class, we will ask, specifically, how and with what consequences criminal laws are being used in the field of migration, sexuality and reproduction, drug use, labour, health, and poverty. Furthermore, entanglements of criminalisation with gender, class, race, sexuality, citizen and health status will be discussed.

Course Schedule

Week – Date – Topic – Readings
Week 1 – March 1 – Introduction to the class – Read syllabus
Week 2 – March 8 – Will to Punish – Lancaster / Comaroff & Comaroff
Week 3 – March 15 -Criminalisation Turn – Garland
Week 4 – March 22 -Intersectionality and Crime – Potter
Week 5 – March 29 – Policing Order – Garriot
Week 6 – April 5 – Against Innocence – Wang
Week 7 – April 12 – War on Drugs is the War on People – Malinowska-Sempruch / Zigon
Week 8 – April 26 – Criminalised Sex -Mac & Smith / Wagenaar
Week 9 – May 10 – (Il)legalities of Abortion – Chełstowska / Mecinska et al.
Week 10 – May 17 – Crimmigration – De Genova & Ro – Week 11
May 24 – Banning Queer Lives – Gledhill / Kondakov
Week 12 – May 31 – Policing the Pandemic – Agamben / Luscombe & McClelland / Hoppe
Week 13 – June 7 – Futurities of Prison – Davis / Whalley & Hackett
Week 14 – June 14 – Criminalisation of…


  • Agamben G. (2020) Biosecurity and Politics.
  • Chełstowska, A. (2011) Stigmatisation and commercialisation of abortion services in Poland: turning sin into gold, Reproductive Health Matters 9(37): 98-106.
  • Comaroff, J., Comaroff, J. (2016) The Truth about Crime: Sovereignty, Knowledge, Social Order, Chicago: Chicago University Press, pp. 5-9.
  • Cuttitta, P. (2018) Repoliticization Through Search and Rescue? Humanitarian NGOs and Migration Management in the Central Mediterranean, GEOPOLITICS 23(3): 632–660.
  • Davis, A. (2003) ‘Introduction: Prison Reform or Prison Abolition?; Are Prisons Obsolete? New York: Seven Stories Press, pp. 9-21.
  • de Genova, N., Roy, A.(2020) Practices of Illegalisation. Antipode 52(2): 352-364.
  • Garriott, W. (2013) Police in Practice: Policing and the Project of Contemporary Governance, in: W. Garriott (ed.) Policing and Contemporary Governance. The Anthropology of Police in Practice, London: Palgrave Macmilla, pp. 1-28.
  • Garland, D. (2001) The Culture of Control.Crime and Social Order in Contemporary Society, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 6-20.
  • Gledhill, C. (2014) Queering State Crime Theory: The State, Civil Society and Marginalization. Critical Criminology 22, 127–138.
  • Hoppe, T. (2018) Punishing Disease. HIV and the Criminalization of Sickness, Oakland: University of California Press.
  • Kondakov, A. (2019) The Censorship “Propaganda” Legislation in Russia. In: L. Ramon Mendos, State-Sponsored Homophobia 2019, pp. 213-215. Geneva: ILGA.
  • Lancaster, R. (2012) Punishment, in: D. Fassin, A Companion to Moral Anthropology, Malden:Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 519-539.
  • Luscombe, A., McClelland, A. (2020) Policing the Pandemic Mapping Project: Tracking the policing of COVID-19 across Canada, white paper.
  • Malinowska-Sempruch K. (2016) Shaping drug policy in Poland, International Journal of Drug Policy 31: 32-38. doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2016.02.018. Epub 2016 Feb 27. PMID: 27140431.
  • Mecinska L., C. James & K. Mukungu (2020) Criminalization of Women Accessing Abortion and Enforced Mobility within the European Union and the United Kingdom, Women & Criminal Justice, DOI: 10.1080/08974454.2020.1758868
  • Potter, H. (2013) Intersectional Criminology: Interrogating Identity and Power in Criminological Research and Theory, Critical Criminology 21: 305–318.
  • Wagenaar, H. (2017) Why Prostitution Policy (Usually) Fails And What To Do About It, Social Sciences, 6, 43; doi:10.3390/socsci6020043.
  • Wang, J. (2018) Against Innocence: Race, Gender, and the Politics of Safety, in: J. Wang, Carceral Capitalism. Semiotext(e) 21, pp. 260-295.
  • Whalley E. & Hackett C. (2017) Carceral Feminisms: the Abolitionist Project and Undoing Dominant Feminisms, Contemporary Justice Review.
  • Zigon J. (2018) A War on People. Drug User Politics and a New Ethics of Community. University of California Press.

Additional literature

  • Comaroff, J., Comaroff, J. (2016) The Truth about Crime: Sovereignty, Knowledge, Social Order, Chicago: Chicago University Press.
  • DeGenova, N.P. (2002) Migrant “Illegality” and Deportability in Everyday Life. Annual Review of Anthropology 31(1): 419-447.
  • DeGenova, N.P. (2017) The Borders of “Europe”: Autonomy of Migration, Tactics of Bordering, Duke University Press Books.
  • Fassin, D. (2018) The Will to Punish, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Fassin, D. (2013) Enforcing Order: An Ethnography of Urban Policing, Cambridge: Polity Press.
  • HIV Justice Network (2019) Advancing HIV Justice 3: Growing the global movement against HIV criminalisation, online resource.
  • Mitsilegas, V. (2015) The Criminalisation of Migration in Europe. Challenges for Human Rights and the Rule of Law, Heidelberg: Springer International Publishing.
  • Potter, H. (2015) Intersectionality and Criminology. Disrupting and revolutionizing studies of crime, Routledge.
  • Simon, J. (2007) Governing Through Crime: How the War on Crime Transformed American Democracy and Created a Culture of Fear, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Wacquant, L. (2009) Punishing the Poor The Neoliberal Government of Social Insecurity, Durkham: Duke University Press.
  • Vitale, A. (2018) The End of Policing, London: Verso.
  • Wacquant, L. (2008) Ordering Insecurity: Social Polarization and the Punitive Upsurge, Radical Philosophy Review 11(1): 9–27.