Over the last decades, a significant number of path-breaking contributions have read the evolution of crime and penality from a politico-economic perspective. Most remarkably, the analytical framework of the Political Economy of Punishment has been pivotal in reframing critical thought on penality, by relating punishment to economic variables, such as unemployment, economic cycles or the level of exploitation of the workforce. Along with those works, over the last fifteen years or so another line of inquiry has been unfolding, which is aimed at explaining the rise of punitiveness (and sometimes the evolution of crime) from the standpoint of the rise of neoliberalism, understood as an economic doxa but also as a political project. Moreover, all throughout the last century key criminologists have widely analysed the relation between economic variables and crime. However, those challenging literatures have rarely addressed the concept of economic crises and their implications for crime and penality.
It appears, though, to be particularly timely to reflect on the evolution of crime and the contours of penality from the standpoint of the current economic crisis. Not in vain, what has been named the Great Recession, that from 2007 affected wide regions of the Global North in particular, has entailed era-defining economic, political, social and cultural transformations. The field of crime and punishment has not been immune to these mutations. In the US context, key authors have recently pointed out that the economic crisis has crucially contributed to the momentum of an emergent new –and less punitive- common sense on penality. By the same token, in Europe the decades-long cycle of increasing punitiveness seems to have come to a halt during the recession period, especially in countries such as Italy and Spain, but also in the UK and Nordic countries. By contrast, South American countries, which so far have been scarcely affected by the Great Recession, have witnessed a most prominent and uninterrupted rise of punitiveness throughout the last decade. As regards the crime issue, the economic recession has not led to an increment of crime rates, but rather the opposite, at least in the Global North.
In sum, the Conference aims to debate the influence of economic crises, and particularly of the Great Recession, on crime and punishment. Likewise, the Conference seeks to contribute thereby to the rich academic tradition which develops a politico-economic reading of crime and penality. Moreover, the Conference is aimed at reflecting on the allegedly arising new common sense on punishment, and on its forthcoming consequences.
Therefore, we will consider contributions on a wide range of issues that encompass the broad theme of Crises, Economy and Punishment: The influence of the Great Recession on crime and penality, particularly on the themes of:
University of A Corunna, Spain.
Queensland University of Technology, Australia.
Pompeu Fabra University, Spain.
University of Bologna, Italy.
UC Berkeley, USA.
National University of the Litoral, Argentina.
University of A Corunna, Spain. / www.ecrim.es
The Conference is mainly funded by a research
grant awarded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy.
Proposals should be titled and should not exceed 250 words.
Please include the proposer’s name and contact details along
with his or her university affiliation.
Please submit abstracts via email to:
The papers presented at the workshop may be eventually published in a book containing the workshop proceedings.
You can download the programme sessions on the following link:
Programme: Crises, Economy & Punishment