Department of Sociology & Criminology

John McMullan - Profile


Research Areas:

  • Crime, Law and Society 
  • Historical Sociology and Criminology 
  • Gambling and Society 
  • Social Theory 
  • Justice Studies 


Ph.D, London School of Economics and Political Science, 1980; M.A., Concordia University, 1973; B.A. (Honours), Concordia University, 1972. Professor at Saint Mary's University since 1985.

John L. McMullan is Professor of Sociology and Criminology and a former Department Chairperson and Criminology Graduate Studies Coordinator at Saint Mary's University. Professor McMullan has held previous positions at the University of British Columbia and at Vanier College. He is the author of eight books, eleven government reports and over sixty academic articles on business crime, historical criminology, criminal organization, law enforcement, social regulation, media, crime and justice, and gambling and social policy. Dr. McMullan is a multiple research award holder and he has served on many university, academic, professional, and government commissions, councils and boards. He is a Commissioner of the Law Reform Commission of Nova Scotia and a member of the executive board of the Nova Scotia Criminal Justice Association. Professor McMullan has held visiting positions at Cambridge University and The London School of Economics and Political Science in the United Kingdom and at Simon Fraser University and Concordia University in Canada.


Selected Publications


  • McMullan, J.L. The Canting Crew: London's Criminal Underworld 1550-1700, New Brunswick, NJ, Rutger's University Press, 1984, 226 pages.
  • McMullan, J.L.; Marchak, P. and Guppy, N. (eds) Uncommon Property: The Fishing and the Fish Processing Industries in British Columbia, Toronto Methuen, 1987, 402 pages. 
  • McMullan, J.L. and Ratner, R.S. (eds) State Control: Criminal Justice Politics in Canada Vancouver BC, University of British Columbia Press, 1987, 265 pages. 
  • McMullan, J.L, Hamilton, R. (eds) Tradition, Modernity and Nationhood: Essays on Quebec Society by Hubert Guindon, Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 1988, 180 pages.  Translated into French as Tradition, Modernité et Aspiration Nationale de la Societé Québecoise , Montreal, Editions, Saint-Martin, 1990, 233 pages. 
  • McMullan, J.L. Beyond the Limits of the Law: Corporate Crime and Law and Order, Halifax, Fernwood, 1992,186 pages. 
  • McMullan, J.L. Crimes, Laws and Communities Halifax, Fernwood, 1997, 101 pages. 
  • McMullan, J.L. News Truth and Crime: The Westray Disaster and it's Aftermath Halifax, Fernwood, 2006, 112 pages. 
  • McMullan, J.L., Rigakos, E., Johnson, J. & G. Ozcan (eds) A General Police System: Political Economy and Security in The Age of Enlightenment.  Ottawa, Red Quill Books. 2009, 302 pages.

Recent Articles

  • McMullan, J.L. and Perrier, D., “Regulation, Disorder and Illegality in the Lobster Fishery in Southwest Nova Scotia”Journal of Legal Pluralism, 33, (1994), pp 121-146.
  • McMullan, J.L. “The Political Economy of Thief-Taking”, Crime, Law and Social Change 23:2, (1995), pp 121-146.
  • McMullan, J.L. “Policing, Lawlessness and Disorder in Historical Perspective”, in T. Fleming (ed.) Post Critical Criminology , Toronto: Prentice-Hall, 1996, pp 111-140.
  • McMullan, J.L. “The New Improved Monied Police: Reform, Crime Control and the Commodification of Police Work”,British Journal of Criminology, 36:1, (1996), pp 85-106.
  • McMullan, J.L. “State/Corporate Crime and Social Justice: Reflections on Politics, Power and Truth” Atlantic Human Rights Centre Proceedings, Fredericton, NB: St. Thomas University, (1997), pp 57-76.
  • McMullan, J.L. and D. Perrier, “Poaching vs the Law: The Social Organization of Illegal Fishing” in J. L.  McMullan,Crimes, Laws and Communities Halifax, Fernwood Press, 1997, pp 29-60.
  • McMullan, J.L. and S. Smith, “Toxic Steel: State-Corporate Crime and the Contamination of the Environment in J.L. McMullan, Crimes, Laws and Communities. Halifax; Fernwood Press, 1997, pp. 61-87.
  • McMullan, J.L. “The Arresting Eye: Discourse, Surveillance, and Disciplinary Administration in Early English Police Thinking” Social and Legal Studies, Vol. 7: 1, (1998), pp. 97 - 128.
  • McMullan, J.L. “Policing, Reform and Moral Discourse: The Genesis of a Modern Institution,” Policing: an international journal of Police Strategies and Management Vol. 21:1, (1998), pp. 137 - 158.
  • McMullan, J.L. “Social Surveillance and The Rise of the Police Machine,” Theoretical Criminology: an international journal, Vol. 2:1, (1998), pp. 93 - 117.
  • McMullan, J.L. and S. Hinze “Visions of Westray: The Press, Ideology and Corporate Crime” in C. McCormick (ed) The Westray Chronicles Halifax: Fernwood Press, 1999, pp. 183-217.
  • McMullan, J.L. “Westray and After: Power, Truth and Media Reporting of the Westray Mine Disaster” in R. Menzies, D. Chunn and S. Boyd (eds) Abusing Power: The Canadian Experience, Halifax: Fernwood Press, 2001, pp 130-145.
  • McMullan, J.L. and J. Mullen. “What Makes Gambling News?” Journal of Gambling Studies , Vol 17:4, (2002), pp 321-352.
  • McMullan, J.L. and D. Perrier “Poaching and the Ironies of Law Enforcement”. Law and Society Review , Vol 36:4. (2003) 679-717.
  • McMullan, J.L. and D. Perrier, “Technologies of Crime: The Cyber-Attacks on Electronic Gambling Machines”, Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice Vol 45:2, (2003)159-180.
  • McMullan, J.L., M. MacDonald and D. Perrier. “Gambling Households in Canada”, Journal of Gambling Studies , Vol 20:3, (2004). pp 187-236.
  • McMullan, J.L. and M. McClung “The Media, The Politics of truth and the Coverage of Corporate Violence: The Westray Disaster and the  Public Inquiry”, Critical Criminology: An International Journal 14 (2006) pp 67-86.
  • McMullan, J.L. and D. Perrier, "La Securite de jeu et le jeus de la securite: Portage loi et la policitique publique"Criminologie , 39:1; pp 83-106, 2006.
  • McMullan, J.L. "News, Truth and the Recognition of Corporate Crime", Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice, 48:6, (2006) pp 905-939.
  • McMullan, J.L., “Lost Lives at Westray: Official Discourse, Public Truth and Controversial Deaths”, Canadian Journal of Law and Society , 22:1, 2007, pp21-42.
  • McMullan, J.L. and D. Perrier, “Controlling Cyber-Crime and Gambling: Problems and Paradoxes in the Mediation of Law and Criminal Organization”, International Journal of Police Practice and Research , 8 (5) 2007, pp 431-444.
  • McMullan, J.L. and D. Perrier. “The Security of Gambling and gambling with Security: Hacking, Law enforcement and Public Policy”, International Gambling Studies, Vol, 7:1, 2007, pp43-58.
  • McMullan, J.L. and D. Perrier “The Security of Gambling and Gambling with Security: A Rejoinder.”  International Gambling Studies, 7:3, 2007, pp 377-382.
  • McMullan, J.L. and A. Rege, “Cyber-Extortion at Online Gambling Sites; Criminal Organization and Legal Challenges'.Gaming Law Review, 11:6, 2007, pp 665-684.
  • McMullan, J.L. and D. Miller, “All In ! The Commercial Advertising of Off-Shore Gambling on Television”. Journal of Gambling Issues, 22, 2008, 230-251.
  • McMullan, J.L., G. Rigakos, J. Johnson and G. Ozcan “Towards a Critical Political Economy of Police.”  In G. Rigakos et al (eds) A General Police System: Political Economy and Security in the Age of Enlightenment. Ottawa: Red Quill Books, 2009, pp1-31.
  • McMullan, J.L. and D. Miller, “Wins, Wining, and Winners: The Commercial Advertising of Lottery Gambling”. Journal of Gambling Studies , 25:3, 2009, pp 273-295.
  • McMullan, J.L., “Westray: News, Truth and the Problem of Corporate Crime” In R. Brym (ed) Society in Question , (6th edition) Toronto: Nelson, 2010, chapter 24.
  • McMullan, J.L. and D. Miller “Advertising the ‘New Fun-tier': Selling Casinos to Consumers “ International Journal of Mental Health and Addictions , Vol 8, 2010, pp  35-50.
  • McMullan, J.L. and A. Rege, “Online Crime and Internet Gambling.”  Journal of Gambling Issues . Issue 24, 2010, pp 54-85.
  • McMullan, J.L. and D. Miller. “From Safety To Danger: The Media, Constructions of Crime in a Women's magazine”. Critical Criminology: An International Journal .  Published online October 2010.
  • McMullan, J.L. “Gambling Advertising and Online gambling”. Submission to the Joint Select Committee on Gambling Reform in Australia, pp 1-18, available as a pdf at , June 2011.
  • McMullan, J.L. and M. Kerwin, “Selling Internet gambling: Advertising, New Media and the Content of Poker Promotion.” In press.  International Journal of Mental Health and Addictions , 2011.
  • McMullan, J.L. and A. Rege, “Online Crime and Internet Gambling”.  In press.  In R. Wood, R. Williams and J. Parke (eds). The Routledge Handbook of Internet Gambling , London: Routledge, 2012.
  • McMullan, J.L., D. Miller and D. Perrier (2011).  “I've seen them so much they are just there”: Exploring young people's perception of gambling in advertising”. In journal submission.
  • McMullan, J.L. (2011). Cyber fraud, online poker and order-maintenance in virtual worlds. In journal submission.

Recent Article Reprints

  • McMullan, J.L. and Hamilton R., “Introduction” to Tradition Modernite et Aspiration Nationale de la Societe Québecoise ” Montreal: Èditions Saint-Martin, 1990.
  •  McMullan, J.L.; Swan, P., “Social Economy and Arson in Nova Scotia” in R. Silverman, J. Teevan, and V. Sacco (eds.)Crime in Canadian Society 4th edition, Toronto:  Butterworths, 1991, pp 205-215.
  • McMullan, J.L. and Gorman, L. “In Defiance of the Law of the Land: Social Control and the Unemployed Movement in B.C. in the Dirty Thirties”, in B. MacLean and D. Currie (eds). Rethinking the Administration of Justice Halifax, Fernwood Press, 1992, pp 214-233.
  • McMullan, J.L.; MacDonald M. and Perrier, D., “Spending Habits: Where the Money Goes on Gambling” The Wager , Vol. 5b: Harvard Medical School, April, 2000, report summary of Convenience Gambling Study.
  • McMullan, J.L. and D. Perrier “Lobster Poaching and the Ironies of Law Enforcement”. In F. Haines (ed) Crime and Regulation,  Aldershot, Ashgate Publishing, 2007.
  • McMullan, J.L. and A. Rege “Cyber-Extortion at Online Gambling Sites: Criminal Organization and Legal Challenges”. In I. Carr (ed.) Computer Crime. International Library of Criminology, Criminal Justice and Penology – Second Series, Ashgate Publishing, July, 2009.
  • McMullan, J.L. and D. Perrier “Lobster Poaching and the Ironies of Law Enforcement”.  In R. White (ed) Environmental Crime: A Reader. Cullompton: Willan Publishing, 2009.
  • McMullan, J.L. and M. McClung. “The Media, the Politics of Truths and the Coverage of Corporate Violence: The Westray Disaster and the Public Inquiry”.  In H. Croall (ed) Corporate Crime, (Vol 1) London: Sage Publications, 2009, chapter 16.
  • McMullan, J.L. “Lost Lives at Westray: Official Discourse, Public Truth and Controversial Deaths”  in N.Larsen and B. Burtch Law in Society: Canadian Readings, Toronto: Nelson Publishers, 2010.  Chapter 4.

Recent Invited Lectures

  • “The Social Economy of Arson” Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, October, 1990
  • “Coastal Communities on Trial: Regulation and Resistance in the Fisheries” Dept. of Anthropology and Sociology, UBC, Vancouver, April, 1991.
  • “The Policing Past: Communal, Private and State Dimensions”, The London School of Economics, London, U.K., February, 1995.
  • “State/Corporate Crime and Social Justice: Reflections on Politics, Power and Truth,” Atlantic Human Rights Centre, Fredericton, June, 1997.
  • “Corporate Crime and the Westray Mine Disaster”, Dalhousie University, Halifax, November, 1998.
  • “Convenience Gambling and Social Impact Research” (with Drs.  Martha MacDonald and David Perrier) Canadian Gaming Regulators Association, Halifax, August, 1998.
  • “The Social Organization of Poaching as Business Crime” St. Thomas University, Fredericton, February, 2000.
  • “The Denial of Justice and the Degradation of Truth: Reflections on the Bhopal and Westray Disasters”, Dalhousie University, Halifax, March, 2000.
  • “Computer Crime and Gambling” University of Alberta, Edmonton, March 2002.
  •  “Policing Before ‘The Police': From Collective Liability to Private Policing”, Halifax Regional Police Science Program. Halifax, May, 2003.
  • “The Coming of the New Police 1829: Police Intellectuals, Social Order and the Development of the Modern Police”, Halifax Regional Police Science Program, Halifax, May, 2003.
  •  McMullan, J.L., “Gambling Hard: Remarks on the Reality of Spending and the Need for  Policy Reform”, Public Forum sponsored by P.E.I. United Church, Federation of Labour and Racino Watch P.E.I., Charlottetown, November  24, 2004.
  • McMullan, J.L., "The Gambling Problem and Problem Gambling: Research, Public Policy and Citizenry", Fourth Annual Conference on Gambling Research: Public Policy Implications of Gambling Research, Edmonton, University of Alberta, April 2005.
  • McMullan, J.L., “Contexts and Trends in Police Work”. Halifax,  Halifax Regional Police Science Program, January 2005, March 2008.
  • McMullan, J.L., “Cop Culture”, Halifax, Halifax Regional Police Science Program, January, 2005.
  • McMullan, J.L., “Surveillance and Policing”, Halifax, Halifax   Regional Police Science Program, January 2005.
  • McMullan, J.L., “The New Surveillance For the 21st Century”, Halifax, Nova Scotia Criminal Justice Association Meetings,  November 2005.
  • McMullan, J.L. “The Future of Policing”. Halifax: Halifax Regional Police Science Program, January 2006.
  • McMullan, J.L. “Police, Policing and Security”, Halifax, Halifax Regional Police Science Program, January, 2006, September 2007, March 2008.
  • McMullan, J.L. “Do the police have a culture of work?”, Halifax,  Halifax Regional Police Science Program, January 2006, March 2008, May 2009.
  • McMullan, J.L., “Technology, Information and Police Surveillance”, Halifax, Halifax Regional Police Science Program, January 2006, March 2008, May 2009.
  • McMullan, J.L. “Police and Media Relations”. Halifax, Halifax Regional Police Science Program, May 2009.
  • McMullan, J.L., “Commercial Advertising and Remote Gambling: Messages of Mass Persuasion, Concerns for Responsible Gambling and Directions for Responsible Advertising.” Austrian Responsible Gambling Academy, Vienna, May 2009.
  • McMullan, J.L., “Online Crime and Internet Gambling”.  Canadian Association of Gambling Regulators.  Halifax, July 2009.
  • McMullan, J.L. “Techno-Nomads, Dot.Cons and Mafias of the Minute: Criminal Organization and the Insecurity of Gambling Habitats”.  Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario. Niagara Falls, June 2010.
  • McMullan, J.L. “Virtual Villainy: Cyberfraud, Cyberextortion and the Internet Gambling Environment”.  North American Gambling Regulators Association Annual Conference. Vancouver, June 2010.

Recent Research Grants

  • “Private Coercion and Crime Control: A Study of Profits, Markets, and Power in Entrepreneurial Police Work”, 1993-1997, SSHRC, Ottawa, Canada ($82,800)
  • “A Conceptual Model of the Social Effects of Gambling in Nova Scotia”, 1997-98, Year 1, (co-investigators: Drs. M. MacDonald and D. Perrier). Alcohol and Gaming Authority, Government of Nova Scotia, Halifax, Canada ($102,000).
  • “Convenience Gambling in Nova Scotia: A Study of Consumer Income and Expenditure Patterns” 1998-2000; Year 2, (co-investigators: Drs. M. MacDonald and D. Perrier).  Alcohol and Gaming Authority, Government of Nova Scotia, Halifax, Canada ($32,000).
  • “The Socio-economic Impact of Video Lottery Terminals”, 1999, (co-investigators: Drs. M. MacDonald and D. Perrier) Alcohol and Gaming Authority, Government of Nova Scotia, Halifax, Canada ($6,500).
  • “Truth Power and Justice: A Study of the Westray Mine  Explosion and its Aftermath”, 2002-2006, SSHRC, Ottawa, Canada ($71,200.00).
  • "Commercial Advertising and Adolescent Gambling", 2006-2010, Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation, Government of Nova Scotia ($345,000).
  • "Gambling Issues and Public Policy:, 2008-2012, Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation, Government of Nova Scotia ($95,000).

Recent Courses Taught

Advanced Sociological and Criminological Theory

Corporate Crime

Technology, Surveillance and Social Control