Questioning crime: social harms and global issues
Questioning crime: social harms and global issues

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Questioning crime: social harms and global issues

4 Social harm and the ‘War on Terror’

Described image
Figure 8 Police and the army secure the area in front of the Louvre on 3 February 2017 in Paris, France following a suspected terrorist attack.

Throughout this course so far, you have encountered the concept of social harm and some of the arguments that are made concerning the limits of criminology for understanding and responding to social harm. This section explores further some of the criticisms that social harm theorists have made of criminology and criminal justice, highlighting issues of inequality, power and globalisation. Using what has become known as the ‘War on Terror’ as a case study, you will explore how particular global events are constructed as issues of ‘crime’ and ‘security’ (and, conversely, which are not). You will explore this through public and media discourse about the ‘War on Terror’, and how this discourse has been used politically and strategically to justify military action and, as some analysts have argued, to demonise, exclude and control particular ‘problem populations’. In particular, you will critically consider the implications of these measures and whether, ultimately, they do more harm than good.


Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371