Political Science and Criminal Justice

Faculty Updates

The Justice and Politics Forum, held its inaugural event, a presentation by Senior Lecturer David Scott of the Open University in the United Kingdom
In October, The Justice and Politics Forum, held its inaugural event, a presentation by Senior Lecturer David Scott of the Open University in the United Kingdom (see presentation abstract below). The Justice and Politics Forum, approved by the department this fall, is organized by Professors Nicole Sherman and Michael Coyle. A committee selects topics and hosts presenters throughout the academic year. Each presentation is an hour long, with an informal discussion following at the Madison Bear Garden. Announcements of forum presentations can be found on the Political Science Department’s Facebook Page.

It’s a question of judgment: criminal blame and the ethics of responsibility

Presentation by David Scott – October 25, 2018

In this presentation Dr. Scott problematizes the idea of the 'last judgment' as the basis for the 'logic of crime'.  Drawing upon the insights of penal abolitionism, he begins by identifying the harms of the criminal process as a form of state violence, thus throwing into question the legitimacy of penal law.  Dr. Scott then examines the difficulties around making sound moral judgments and in so doing problematizes assumptions around the legal construction of individual responsibility.  He concludes with a discussion about how we can reimagine responsibilities and think differently about ways in which we can handle and respond to human conflicts, harms, troubles and wrongdoing.

Gwen Ricordeau had a busy summer researching in Europe. She worked on three papers, regarding marriage migration, penal abolitionism and sexuality in prison, presenting the research at seminars and workshops in Paris and Brussels. Additionally, Gwen attended a workshop in June in London on penal abolition. 

Levi Watts (grad student POLS MA) and Adam Irish presented a co-authored paper: “Targaryen Thought Experiments: Do Science Fiction Examples Help or Hurt When Teaching International Relations” at the Midwest Political Science Association’s 2018 Conference in Chicago in April, 2018.  It was featured as part of a panel on “Innovative Teaching Methods and Techniques.”

Political Statements is the official newsletter of the Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice at California State University, Chico.

With over 1,000 total majors, the Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice is one of the largest departments at Chico State. Students choose courses from a rich curriculum, providing close student-faculty contact in each of the following majors of study: U.S. politics, legal studies, criminal justice, international relations, and public administration. The department also offers a Master of Public Administration and a Master of Arts in Political Science.

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