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School of History, Philosophy and Culture
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Liviu Alexandrescu joined the School of History, Philosophy and Culture in 2017 as a member of the newly formed team launching and delivering Oxford Brookes' BA/BSc in Criminology course. Previously, he has researched and taught at Lancaster University, where he was also granted his PhD in Sociology, in 2016. He also holds an MA in Society and Politics (2010) offered by the Centre for Social Studies in Warsaw, Poland, and a BA in Journalism and Media Studies (2008) offered by the University of Bucharest, Romania. Before settling into an academic career, Liviu has also done work as a news reporter in television and the print media.
Since August 2014, Liviu is recognised as an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He has had the chance to teach social and criminological theory to hundreds of undegraduate students across the various thematic blocks and module components that he has contributed to as a lecturer in recent years: the sociology of identity; deviance and control; power and discipline; modernity and urban life etc.
At Brookes, he is currently delivering lectures on crime and the media, as well as the main theoretical schools of criminology for the introductory first-year modules of the university's freshly launched criminology degree, within the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.
U69000 Crime and Criminology in Context.
U69001 Crime in Theory and Practice.
Liviu's research interests lie at the crossroads of sociology, criminology and media/culture studies and his work touches on all these scholarly fields, with a strong focus on critical drug studies. His main goal is to explore ways in which socio-criminological thought and theory can explain acts and 'moral careers' of deviance, as well as the 'spoiled identities' attached to them. He has developed a rather 'figurational' approach to this, focusing on discourse, identity and ideology, on one side, but also looking into how these are translated and adapted ‘on the ground’, at a more grassroots level of meaning and practice, on the other. This also reflects his commitment and ability to do discourse analysis (media, policy, moral entrepreneurship) on the macro level, but also to do grassroots immersive research (expert and lay interviews, ethnography) on the micro level.
Liviu's recent research deals with the often blurry boundaries between recreational and medical substance use. It focuses on injecting drug users in opiate substitution treatment settings and the various meanings they could attach to new psychoactive substances (NPS) or (now former) ‘legal highs’ – mostly amphetamine-type stimulants – which they integrated into their own repertoires. It is largely based on qualitative in-depth interviews with users and health experts and critically looks at treatment programmes as disciplinary devices, understanding new constellations of unregulated drugs as fluid objects of policy, medical science and care, appropriated into strategies of both compliance and subversion. This has allowed him to develop specialist knowledge in the areas of drug use, harm, policing and policy-making. He has extensively researched and written on drug policy and reform topics, for both academic and non-academic audiences.