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Teresa Degenhardt

Dr. Teresa Degenhardt - Queen's University Belfast Research Portal - Research Directory & Institutional Repository for QUB
Teresa Degenhardt

Direct phone: +44 (0)28 9097 1244

For media contact email
or call +44(0)2890 973091.


Convenor of : Exploring Criminology (CRM1002: level 1); Criminological Thoery (CRM2001: level 2); Research Project and Dissertation (CRm3002: level 3).

I contribute to other courses across the 3 levels. These are on Surveillance; Human Rights and Global Wrong; Introduction to Critical Criminology. Additionally, I contribute to teaching at a MA level on Key Issues in Social Theory, in particular on Governmentality Theory

Research Interests

I am generally interested in theoretical debates at the intersection of criminological theory, sociology and political theory. I have an interest in investigating issues of crime and governance and punishment and governance, as these relate to wider social changes in cultural practices and norms. I mostly draw on the work of Michel Foucault and Giorgio Agamben on power, punishment, sovereignty, governmentality and forms of exclusion in general, but I am also influenced by some post-structuralist feminist writings. 

My PhD thesis analyzes the use of military might in the post 9/11 context with particular reference to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. It investigates the overlap of criminology and international relations, the use of war, or the threat of it, as a means of establishing order and defining borders in the international sphere, thereby expanding the remit of the discipline. The work provides an alternative narrative for the so-called “war on terror" from the perspective of the punitive intent it endorsed and the practical effects it entailed. Some work from the thesis was presented at the Cortona Colloquium “New Wars, Law and Global Order" attended by Prof. Antonio Cassese and Prof. Danilo Zolo. Prior to that, I worked on prostitution, in particular on a project looking at crimes committed against female migrants. This enquired into issues of youth prostitution in the region of Emilia Romagna (Italy) and was part of the European Project Stop Trafficking in Europe.


I am currently a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley (Centre for the Study of Law and Society).

I am co-investigator on a ESRC/RCUK funded interdisciplinary project on “Tracing Risk and Uncertainty in Security Technology” ( This is an ethnographic study of the scientific development of a handheld device to police borders with a view to detect chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive weapons. It looks at how risk and security are conceptualized and imagined in the process of technical development of such a border control device. 

Key Words: criminological theory, international criminology and global justice, war, the intersection of criminology and political theory, state crimes, surveillance, security, governmentality and bio-politics, risk, penology, reactions to crime and feminist theories more generally.

Supervision: Please feel free to contact me to discuss possible research projects.


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