Modern punishment has been wedded to the notions of the territorial nation state and of sovereign authority. Both contemporary and historic theories and grand narratives of punishment and crime control are based on assumptions about relatively strong statehood as found in the global North. The existence of the Leviathan nation state has also been the essential precondition for thinking about these issues, and a backdrop without which criminology as a discipline would hardly have been conceivable. However, critics have pointed out that, seen from a global perspective, these forms of statehood may in fact be the exception rather than the rule. The seminar examines the utility of traditional (Western) accounts of punishment and penal power for developing global perspectives within studies of criminology and criminal justice.