Assignment Brief: Case Study Assignment
Course Module - Crimes of the Powerful: Corporations, the State and Human Rights
A 2,500-word case study, essay, where students will complete a longer piece of independent research on their chosen case study (60% of marks).It could be on ( Terrorism,Corporate Donations to electoral campaigns,Global Tax avoidance and evasion,The Rogue Offshore finance industry,Corruption,Corporate crime etc).See example attached.
This piece of assessment will be in essay format, but is not a set essay in which you are given the question, it is an applied research paper in which you chose the topic and set the question. You may select a case study of your choice but it must relate to one of the themes covered in the lectures and seminars in the module.
Indicative Structure Suggestion:
Below is a suggested potential structure for the case study essay:
Intro (c200 words) - incl. methods
Case study focus (c600 words)
Case study context (c600 words)
Theory (c500 words)
Discussion (relating theory to case study) c450 words
Conclusion (c150 words)
Obviously, we understand that the specifics of your work may result in a slightly different structure. However, thinking about such a structure initially may help you get started with the assignment.
So, let take each of these in turn…
The extent that you identify themes and locate yourself within the academic literature:
The theoretical approach you are taking in the case study should relate to at least two of the ten texts below :
Blakeley, Ruth (2009) State Terrorism and Neoliberalism: The North in the South London: Routledge
Cohen, Stanley (2013) States of Denial London: John Wiley & Sons
Fisse, Brent and John Braithwaite (1993) Corporations, Crime and Accountability Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Green, Penny and Tony Ward (2004) State Crime London: Pluto Press
Hillyard, Paddy (2004) Beyond Criminology: Taking Social Harm Seriously London: Pluto
Michalowski, Raymond and Ronald Kramer (2006) State-Corporate Crime London: Rutgers UP
Punch, Maurice (1996) Dirty Business London: Sage
Sutherland, Edwin H.(2009) White Collar Crime: The Uncut Version London: Yale University Press
Tombs, Steve and David Whyte (2015) The Corporate Criminal Oxford: Routledge
Whyte, David (2015) How Corrupt is Britain? London: Pluto Press
Within each part of this literature, there are key themes that relate to the arguments made by theorists. In essence, you will be judged on your ability to point to, and locate yourself with relation to, such themes.
The evidence you provide:
As researching academics, we need to base our arguments on the evidence available to us. Without it, we are unable to further our understanding of events. There are two aspects of this, especially in our topic areas.Firstly, you should be drawing from academic work. Such evidence has the benefit of having already been through a vigorous peer-review process. Note that academic work on or near your selected topic is especially helpful for demonstrating the themes under debate and the theoretical approaches being applied. You should really try and engage with this literature.
Your ability to successfully adopt methodological techniques:
This is another way of saying, ‘Explain how you will address the question’. This aspect forms one of the novel aspects of the module in general and the assignment in particular. Building on your case study rationale formative assessment, you will need to show your engagement with the relevant methodological literature and techniques.
You are expected to refer to the relevant literature and use it to explain the how of your case study. Your summary of methodology should include a) an appreciationof case study methodology’s characteristics and problems, and how you are applying it in your case study b) a reflection on standpoint epistemology and its applicability c) in that context, an evaluation of the sources you have used (as in evidence above).
Your ability to draw from and develop theory:
Mirroring our engagement with key themes, we have consistently drawn from a range of theory and concepts. We would expect the theory that you are using to be one that has been introduced within the scope of the module. You can draw on other theoretical frameworks. In terms of developing theory, remember to reflect on the theory you have applied in the conclusion to the case study, e.g. does the theory work or need further development?
The amount that each of you engages with theory and concepts will differ from person to person. However, whichever way you approach the assignment, ensure that you devote significant time to developing your engagement with theory.
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