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What's left? Political orientation, economic conditions, and incarceration in Greece under Syriza-led government

Cheliotis, Leonidas and Xenakis, Sappho (2020) What's left? Political orientation, economic conditions, and incarceration in Greece under Syriza-led government. European Journal of Criminology. ISSN 1477-3708

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Identification Number: 10.1177/1477370820966568


An important body of scholarly work has been produced over recent decades to explain variation in levels and patterns of state punishment across and within different countries around the world. Two variables that have curiously evaded systematic attention in this regard are, first, the orientation of incumbent governments along the political spectrum, and second, the experience and fiscal implications of national economic downturn. Although recent years have seen both variables receive somewhat greater consideration, there is still precious little research into the effects on state punishment that they have in interaction with one another. With a view to helping fill this gap in the literature, this article identifies the direction and assesses the extent of influence exerted by government political orientation, on the one hand, and by economic downturn alongside its fiscal repercussions, on the other hand, upon the evolution of incarceration in the context of contemporary Greece. In so doing, we offer a uniquely detailed account of carceral trends before and during the period that a coalition government led by the left-wing Syriza party was in power. With regard to carceral trends as such, the scope of our analysis extends beyond conventional imprisonment also to include immigration detention. As well as arguing that economic downturn can place crucial limits on a government’s ability to execute progressive plans in carceral matters, we additionally conclude that a government’s scope of action in this vein may be further restricted depending on the autonomy it can wield in defiance of foreign forces intervening in both economic and political realms.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2020 The Authors
Divisions: Social Policy
Subjects: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2020 16:54
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2024 07:33

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