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Travels of the Criminal Question

Cultural Embeddedness and Diffusion

Editor(s): Dario Melossi, Máximo Sozzo, Richard Sparks
Media of Travels of the Criminal Question
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Published: 03-02-2011
Format: PDF eBook (?)
Edition: 1st
Extent: 234
ISBN: 9781847316257
Imprint: Hart Publishing
Series: Oñati International Series in Law and Society
RRP: £28.79
Online price : £15.83
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Loren Epson

About Travels of the Criminal Question

The expression 'the criminal question' does not at present have much currency in English-language criminology. The term was carried across from Italian debates about the orientation of criminology, and in particular debates about what came to be called critical criminology. One definition offered early in the debate described it as 'an area constituted by actions, institutions, policies and discourses whose boundaries shift'. According to this writer, crime, and the cultural and symbolic significance carried by law and criminal justice, is an integral aspect of the criminal question.
'The criminal question' draws attention to the specific location and constitution of a given field of forces, and the themes, issues, dilemmas and debates that compose it. At the same time it enables connections to be made between these embedded realities and the wider, conceivably global, contours of influence and flows of power with which it connects. This in turn raises many questions. How far do the responses to crime and punishment internationally flow from and owe their contemporary shape to the cultural and economic transformations now widely known as 'globalisation'? How can something that is in significant ways embedded, situated, and locally produced also travel? What is not in doubt is that it does travel - and travel with serious consequences. The international circulation of discourses and practices has become a pressing issue for scholars who try to understand their operation in their own particular cultural contexts. This collection of essays seeks a constructive comparative view of these tendencies to convergence and divergence.

Table Of Contents

1. Introduction. Criminal Questions: Cultural Embeddedness and Diffusion
Dario Melossi, Máximo Sozzo and Richard Sparks
Part I. Cultural Embeddedness of Punishment
2. Concepts of Culture in the Sociology of Punishment
David Garland
3. Neoliberalism's Elective Affinities: Penality, Political Economy and International Relations
Dario Melossi
4. Theorising the Embeddedness of Punishment
David Nelken
Part II. Diffusion of Post-Fordist Penality
5. State Form, Labour Market and Penal System: the New Punitive Rationality in context
Iñaki Rivera Beiras
6. Post-Fordism and Penal Change: The New Penology as a Post-Disciplinary Social Control Strategy
Alessandro De Giorgi
Part III. Travels of Discourses of Criminology and Crime Prevention
7. Lombroso's 'La Donna Delinquente': Its Strange Journeys in Italy, England and the USA, Including Scenes of Mutilation and Salvation
Nicole Rafter
8. The Governance of Crime in Italy: Global Tendencies and Local Peculiarities
Rossella Selmini
9. Cultural Travels and Crime Prevention in Argentina
Máximo Sozzo


“It is impossible to do justice to a collection as rich as this within the limits of a journal book review. I can do no better than to encourage the reader to lay their hands on this anthology and explore the depth and breadth of each different analytical format, as presented by the various contributors.

...the themes which are presented in the papers in this collection are essential for a developed understanding of the future of criminology, and in general to understand analytical sociology. In addition, cultural richness acts as a springboard for deciphering the sociology of law, which can open windows of understanding into the exploration of cultural differences historically, economically, politically and ethically.

The collection is a credit to the editors and to the Onati workshop tradition. It would also be remiss not to compliment Hart Publishing for their adventurous collaboration with the ISIL, which enables much wider access to what would otherwise be a limited and even monastic research experience. This is one of the best collections in the Onati series to date, and merits the careful consideration of those interested in cultural theorising as it relates to law, criminology, anthropology and applied sociology.

” –  Mark Findlay, Singapore Journal of Legal Studies

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