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Understanding the determinants of penal policy: crime, culture and comparative political economy

Lacey, Nicola, Soskice, David and Hope, David (2017) Understanding the determinants of penal policy: crime, culture and comparative political economy. Working Paper (13). International Inequalities Institute, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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Abstract

This review sets out four main explanatory paradigms of penal policy—focusing on, in turn, crime, cultural dynamics, economic structures and interests, and institutional differences in the organisation of different political economies as the key determinants of penal policy. We argue that these paradigms are best seen as complementary rather than competitive, and present a case for integrating them analytically in a comparative political economy framework situated within the longue durée of technology regime change. To illustrate this, we present case studies of one exceptional case—the United States—and of one substantive variable—race. Race has been thought to be of importance in most of these paradigms and provides a pertinent example of how the different dynamics intersect in practice. We conclude by summarising the explanatory challenges and research questions that we regard as most urgent for the further development of the field, and point to the approaches that will be needed if scholars are to meet them.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL: http://www.lse.ac.uk/International-Inequalities
Additional Information: © 2017 The Authors
Divisions: Law
Government
International Inequalities Institute
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2019 13:48
Last Modified: 21 Dec 2020 00:40
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/101849

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