The Importance of Political Ideologies to Contemporary Penality.

Event date
11 November 2021
Event time
15:30 - 17:00
Oxford week
MT 5
On line Zoom Meeting
Dr. Zelia Gallo, Kings College, London

Notes & Changes

Please note that this event will be recorded, if you do not wish to be part of the recording, please feel free to turn your cameras off once the talk begins. The talk will be made available on the Criminology website and YouTube channel at a later date. 

Institutionalist accounts of punishment, crime, and inequality should look to the thinning of political ideologies and its institutional implications. I argue that thin ideologies such as populism, technocracy and plebiscitarianism, have institutional ambitions and tend to incentivise reforms that favour executive discretion and a politics of disintermediation. I illustrate this claim by reference to Italy both during and after the Eurozone crisis. I use Italy as a starting point for a broader discussion of how ideologies might change institutions, and therefore the penal incentives that follow from particular institutional configurations. I claim that institutional changes rooted in thin ideologies may have long-term effects on punishment by incentivising a more adversarial and retaliatory approach to conflict – and thence to crime and deviance – and dis-incentivising a more negotiated and reintegrative approach to conflict, including the type of interpersonal conflict represented by crime and deviance.


Registrations will close at 12 midday on Wednesday 10th November.  The link will be sent to you later that afternoon. 


Zelia Gallo is a Lecturer in Criminal Law, and Criminology & Criminal Justice at King's College London School of Law. Prior to taking up her post at KCL, Dr Gallo was a Fellow in the LSE Law Department, where she also obtained her PhD. Dr Gallo’s current research analyses the relationship between punishment, political institutions and political ideologies, and the relationship between punishment and the political economy across different Western polities. She is also developing a project that aims to explore the meanings and roots of penal moderation across different political cultures and institutional contexts.

Dr Gallo’s recent publications include: ‘From ideologies, to institutions to punishment: the importance of political ideologies to the political economy of punishment’ (2021) in (Lacey et al, eds.) Tracing the Relationship between Inequality, Crime and Punishment. Oxford: OUP; The penal implications of austerity: Italian punishment in the wake of the Eurozone crisis’ (2019) European Journal of Criminology. 16(2); “The constitution of political membership”: punishment, political membership, and the Italian case' (2017) Theoretical Criminology. 21(4); and 'Punishment, authority and political economy: Italian challenges to western punitiveness' (2015) Punishment and Society. 17 (5): 598-623.

This event

All Souls Criminology Seminar Series
Organised by
Centre for Criminology

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