CRIM 701

Criminological Theory


An examination of classical and contemporary theories of crime, including sociological, psychological, medical, rational-choice and critical perspectives on criminology. Attention will be given to the construction of theory as it is informed by social science research, to the social, cultural and political contexts in which these theories have emerged and to the influence of theories in criminal justice policies.

In this course we will evaluate the leading theories of criminal behaviour, with particular focus on theoretical assumptions about human nature and social institutions, and considering the policy implications that flow from these theories.

Availability 2022

Semester 2


Lecturer(s) Dr James Oleson


Cesare Beccaria (1872). An Essay on Crimes and Punishments. Albany: W. O. Little & Co., freely available at:

Gina Lombroso-Ferrero (1911). Criminal Man: According to the Classification of Cesare Lombroso. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, freely available at

Eugene McLaughlin and Tim Newburn (eds.) (2010). SAGE Handbook of Criminological Theory. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE (available electronically through University of Auckland library databases).


CRIM 701: 30 points