Exploring Institutionalism within Criminological Research and Theorising

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course


'Modelling Institutional Continuity and Change in Criminal Justice and Crime Control' presented for the British Society of Criminology Yorkshire and Humberside Branch. Abstract: A major research problem to have preoccupied criminology in recent years is how best to model and account for the apparent significant changes that have taken place in recent decades in the way that societies conceive and respond to crime (e.g. Garland 1996; 2001; Simon 2007; Wacquant 2009). A more specific, yet related question, is how best to theorise ‘penal populism’ (and, more recently, whether and how a strategy of ‘penal moderation’ might be possible to implement) (e.g. Bottoms 1995; Loader 2010). Policing researchers have drawn attention to the significance of phenomena such as privatisation, policy-transfer, regionalisation, trans-national co-operation, and even globalisation. In each area, comparative research suggests significant regional variation. Structural accounts appear unsuited to account for such variation, whereas cultural or historical accounts risk being either reductionist and/or domain-specific. An emerging approach within the sociology of punishment involves accounting for international or subnational variations in penal policy as much in terms of political processes as sociological ones (e.g. Cavadino and Dignan 2006; Lacey 2008; Barker 2009; Page 2011; Campbell and Schoenfeld 2013). These accounts have certain advantages over earlier ones, such as better modelling competing political interests and how these play out.
Period6 May 2014
Event typeSeminar
LocationLeeds, United Kingdom