SOCI-596 Comparative Law Enforcement Systems
Spring for 2017-2018
MW 3:30-4:45PM

This course focuses on comparative law enforcement systems from a sociology and cultural perspective. Sociology is the study of human social interaction and structure in groups. Sociologists examine systematically the ways people behave and arrange themselves in groups. Why people behave and organize the ways they do. By systematically observing and analyzing the group interactions and the group structures, sociologists can describe, explain, and interpret the group behavior patterns, and explain the influences of the social structure on that behavior. Sociology’s structure/functional, interaction, and critical theories have been very useful in understanding social issues, and have been very influential in deciding social policy issues: sometimes beneficially, sometimes not so well. Comparative Law enforcement Systems uses functional/structural, deviance and social control, and social interactionist theory to understand various national police, court, and correction systems.

The purpose of this course is to present and discuss selected law enforcement systems nation-states and international police organizations develop and use to control crime and criminals within and across national borders. The course will use a global comparative approach to the law enforcement systems countries use to counter crime and its impact. Some nation-states have standardized their laws, a globalization of criminal process, to some extent. Still, law enforcement systems vary greatly. Some differences are due to the system of law they enforce, but most differences are cultural. Those differences cause problems in dealing with global crime issues. Students will learn about the different law enforcement systems to better appreciate possible outcomes in countering transnational crime. The course objectives are:

• Present the types of legal systems: common law, civil law, religious law, customary law
• Examine selected nation-state law enforcement systems including U.S., France, Saudi Arabia, and the United Nations
• Understand the role of international organizations and crime control
• Discuss obstacles to improve cooperation among law enforcement agencies
• Present trends for the future
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
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