Scholars from the most varied subjects within Social Sciences and the Humanities have increasingly highlighted how dominant knowledge is fundamentally developed from the experiences of core countries. The realities of peripheral countries have long been overlooked and, at best, reduced to sources of data. This scenario is not different in the Punishment and Society field. Though the number of comparative studies on punishment has increased since the 2000s, this scholarship has failed to integrate peripheral countries into the debate, concentrating in a small number of countries of the Global north. Very little attention has been paid to Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Eastern European countries, for instance. Yet very significant experiences are taking place in these settings. Among the 50 highest imprisonment rates, only one is of a ‘central’ country – the USA. On the other hand, many Eastern European countries and states that were part of the USSR in the 20th century have experienced a significant trend of decreasing imprisonment rates in the last 20 years. Understanding punishment trends and patterns beyond the so called ‘Western democracies’ or ‘advanced-economy countries’ is therefore a necessary step for developing and deepening punishment and society research and theory.

This workshop is a response to the historical Northern, Western-centric feature of criminology and the unequal relations of subordination and dependency which has shaped the production of knowledge in the field. It aims to bring contemporary changes and historical continuities in punishment in peripheral countries into the centre of the discussion. We welcome contributions which engage with punishment at peripheral contexts, broadly speaking, and shed light into the complexities of penal trends in these societies, both in relation to change but also persistence, describing and explaining them from different methodological and theoretical perspectives. We are particularly interested in papers that explore the legacies of imperialism and colonialism in order to understand contemporary penality in postcolonial contexts as well as the importance of travels from the central countries of penal ideas and techniques that influenced penal practices in peripheral contexts.

This worshop is co-hosted by the Global Criminal Justice Hub of the Oxford Centre for Criminology (United Kingdom) and the Programa Delito y Sociedad, Universidad Nacional del Litoral (Argentina), and is organised by Luiz Dal Santo and Máximo Sozzo

Submission of abstracts: NOW CLOSED

Workshop programme: 

This will be an online event hosted as a zoom meeting. If you want to attend it, please fill out the registration form below.

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Registrations will close at 14.00 BST on Tuesday, 22 June.