Drugs, the Death Penalty and Deterrence in Indonesia

ESRC Grand Union Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) collaborative doctoral studentship: Centre for Criminology, University of Oxford with The Death Penalty Project
The Oxford Centre for Criminology is awarding a collaborative doctoral studentship in partnership with The Death Penalty Project, a leading international legal action charity that provides free legal representation to those facing the death penalty in more than 30 countries around the world; participates in capacity building with criminal justice professionals; and engages in research with the aims of influencing policy and practice. This doctoral research will study the deterrent effects of death sentences and executions on drug offending in Indonesia. While building on US deterrence work, this study will be unique in its focus on drug offences, developing methodological and theoretical scholarship of relevance throughout Asia.

Following on from a feasibility study (https://www.deathpenaltyproject.org/knowledge/the-feasibility-of-systematic-research-on-the-deterrent-effects-of-the-death-penalty-in-indonesia/ and the completion of ‘Stage 1’ of data collection (carried out by Atma Jaya University in Indonesia), the ESRC funded student will focus their efforts on the main part of the study (Stage 2), collecting and analysing original empirical data via three main surveys:

Survey of Prisoners: Three prisons from each of 4 regions in Indonesia with the highest population of drug offenders (Java/Bali, Sumatra, Lalimantan, Sulawesi) will be selected. Twenty respondents will be randomly selected from each, producing a total sample size of 240 prisoners.

Household Survey: A sample of approximately 4,000 residents, distributed in 24 districts from 12 provinces that overlap with the regions covered in the prison sample. Assuming a response rate of 60%, this will yield a final sample of 2,400.

Survey of inpatients and outpatients in Drug Rehabilitation Centres: a sample of 500 participants in the selected provinces (as for the household and prison surveys), taking 10% of the centres in the treatment network, with 20 subjects per centre (there are over 500 such centres in 34 provinces, serving over 25,000 patients).

The supervisory team aims to secure further research funding to provide some ‘local’ research assistance to the doctoral student in collecting these data. Analysed alongside Stage 1 data, these methods will establish if the death penalty or executions have any deterrent effect on drug offending. The findings will speak to the key assumptions in Indonesian law on the purposes of capital punishment and to specific policies that go beyond criminal punishment to include the effects of drug use and trafficking on health, education, public safety, labour markets and migration. The data will allow for new perspectives on social interventions to reduce and control drug problems across the population, without recourse to the death penalty.

The PhD studentship will be funded by the ESRC Grand Union DTP for three years (or part-time equivalent) from October 2020. The student will be based in the Centre for Criminology at the University of Oxford. They will be supervised by Professor Carolyn Hoyle and Dr Katrin Muller-Johnson from the Centre for Criminology and supported by Parvais Jabbar at The Death Penalty Project, London.  

Information about ESRC Studentships at Oxford and Eligibility can be found on the Grand Union DTP website. This studentship is open to candidates who meet ESRC residency requirements.  

How to apply

To apply for the studentship, you must submit an application to study for a DPhil in Criminology at the University of Oxford by midday 6 March 2020. Details about applying can be found at: https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/graduate/courses/courses-open-for-studentships?wssl=1. Your application should include a research proposal indicating how you would engage critically with the extant literature on deterrence and meet the challenges of data collection and analysis on this sensitive topic in Indonesia if offered the studentship. Your proposal should draw on the description of the research detailed above and speak to your understanding of quantitative research methods and any relevant substantive knowledge about the death penalty or about drug offending in Southeast Asia. (Please note, expertise in the death penalty, drugs or Southeast Asia is not essential and the candidate will be able to take advantage of required methodological training in the first year of their DPhil.)

In addition you must complete a Grand Union DTP Application Form  and upload it, together with your graduate application form. Please upload the GUDTP Application Form to the graduate application in the 'Supporting Documents' section using the oversize document upload option. 

The admissions process is in two parts: the applicant will be assessed as part of the applicant pool for the Centre for Criminology; the selected candidate will then be assessed as part of the applicant pool for the ESRC Grand Union DTP funding.

Queries about the studentship should be addressed to: Carolyn.hoyle@crim.ox.ac.uk.