Criminal Legalities in the Global South: Cultural Dynamics, Political Tensions, and Institutional Practices, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Criminal Legalities in the Global South

Cultural Dynamics, Political Tensions, and Institutional Practices, 1st Edition

Edited by Pablo Ciocchini, George Radics


240 pages | 1 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781138625631
pub: 2019-09-17
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This edited volume presents the work of academics from the Global South and explores, from local and regional settings, how the legal order and people’s perceptions of it translates into an understanding of what constitutes "criminal" behaviours or activities. This book aims to address the gap between criminal law in theory and practise in the Global South by assembling eleven chapters from established and emerging scholars from various underrepresented regions of the world.

Drawing on research from Singapore, the Philippines, Peru, Indonesia, India, the Dominican Republic, Burma, Brazil, Bangladesh, and Argentina, this book explores a range of issues that straddle the line between social deviance and legal crimes in such societies, including extra-marital affairs, gender-based violence, gambling, LGBT issues, and corruption. Issues of inclusivity versus exclusivity, modernity versus tradition, globalization of capital versus cultural revivalism are explored. The contributions critically analyze the role politics and institutions play in shaping these issues. There is an urgent need for empirical studies and new theoretical approaches that can capture the complexity of crime phenomena that occur in the Global South. This book will provide essential material to facilitate the development of new approaches more suitable to understanding the social phenomena related to crime in these societies

This book will make an important contribution in the development of Southern Criminology. It will be of interest to students and researchers of criminology and sociology engaged in studies of sentencing and punishment, theories of crime, law and practice, and postcolonialism.


"Ciocchini and Radics are absolutely clear: in our upside-down world we must re-examine set canons – including those related to crime and law – otherwise. This is particularly important when we think about, and with, the South. The South’s ample and interconnected geography has, all too often, been considered exclusively as a site of troubles. Criminal Legalities in the Global South shows us that it is much more than that. This cutting-edge edited collection brings together an exciting group of South-oriented contributors to demonstrate that in our twisted present there is no better place to come up with new frameworks and ideas than in that place where ‘most of the world’ exists and struggles, continuing its search for new futures."

Luis Eslava, Senior Lecturer, Kent Law School, University of Kent, UK

"Criminal Legalities in the Global South places at the heart of its inquiry populations who have been traditionally neglected by the social sciences, drawing attention to their experiences and contestations with criminal laws that seek not only to control their actions but also to define who they are. The volume is an important and welcome addition to the growing body of socio-legal scholarship interested in the worldviews, perceptions, and decisions of those who live under subjugated social, legal, economic, and political conditions around the world."

Lynette J. Chua, Associate Professor of Law, National University of Singapore, Singapore

"This book draws together an impressive group of experts to offer new perspectives into the vexing topic of crime and justice in the Global South. Emerging from the pages of this book is the crippling legacy of colonial legality, tensions between tradition and modernity, and critical issues concerning political and economic rights and inequality that resonate across contexts. This volume issues a significant call to embrace the diversity, complexity and plurality of Global South legalities."

Melissa Crouch, Associate Professor, Law Faculty, University of New South Wales, Australia

"A valuable exploration of the relationships between criminal justice, local culture and politics in a variety of locations in the global south, which described how law is used in post colonies and what can be learned from this."

David Nelken, Professor, School of Law, King’s College London, UK

Table of Contents


Reinterpreting Chaos as Diversity: An Alternative Legal Approach from the Global South

Pablo Ciocchini

Cultural Dynamics

Criminalizing Adultery in Colonial India: Constructing the Wife vs. the Other in Islamic Family Law

Anisur Rahman

"First World Problems" in the "Third World"? LGBT Rights in Singapore

George Radics

Privacy in Public Spaces: The Transformative Potential of Navtej Johar v. Union of India

Danish Sheikh

Gambling with Criminal Law: The Legal Paradox of "Jogo do Bicho" (Animal Lottery) Criminalization in Brazil

João Araújo Monteiro Neto and Nestor Eduardo Araruna Santiago

Political Tensions

(Cr)immigration in the Dominican Republic?

Decolonizing the Human Rights of Vulnerable Haitian Migrants

Carolina Yoko Furusho

Cosmologies of Federal Criminal Procedural Reform: Democratizing and Humanizing Criminal Justice in Argentina

Julieta Mira

Of Punishment, Protest, and Press Conferences: Contentious Politics Amidst Despotic Decision in Contemporary Burmese courtrooms

Elliott Prasse-Freeman

Institutional Practices

The Politics of Judicial Actors in the Philippines "War on Drugs"

Pablo Ciocchini

Arresting a Due Process Revolution: The Reform of Indonesia’s Code of Criminal Procedure and the Persistence of History

Jayson Lamchek

Sacrificing Justice for Efficiency?

Examining Premature Dismissal Rates in Peruvian Corruption Cases

Wilson Hernández

Sexual Crimes and Transitional Justice before Courts in Brazil: Accountability for Crimes Against Humanity

Emilio Peluso Neder Meyer and Claudia Paiva Carvalho


Seeking Commonalities from Across the South

George B. Radics

About the Editors

Pablo Ciocchini is a Lecturer at the University of Liverpool in Singapore. He teaches Critical Criminology and Socio-legal Studies. He holds an LLM from the National University of La Plata (Argentina), an MA in the Sociology of Law from the Oñati International Institute for the Sociology of Law (Spain) and a PhD in Sociology of Law from University of the Basque Country. His articles have been published in Crime, Law and Social Change, Critical Criminology, the International Journal of Law in Context, the Asian Journal of Social Science, among others. He is interested in Criminal Courts, Judicial Reforms, Police Accountability, State Violence, and Critical Socio-Legal Theory and Methodology.

George Radics is a Lecturer in the Department of Sociology at the National University of Singapore. He teaches Law and Society, Selected Topics on Law and Justice, Sociology of Emotions, and Classical Sociological Theory. After receiving his PhD in Sociology from NUS, he earned a Juris Doctor with a concentration in Asian law from the University of Washington, and worked for the Supreme Court of Guam for two years. He is a member of the New York Bar. His articles have been published in the Columbia Human Rights Law Review, Santa Clara Journal of International Law, Asian Journal of Social Science, and the Philippine Sociological Review. His work involves the judicial system, notions of justice, human rights, minorities, and comparative legal studies.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Crime and Justice in Asia and the Global South

Crime and justice studies, as with much social science, has concentrated mainly on problems in the metropolitan centres of the Global North, while Asia and the Global South have remained largely invisible in criminological thinking. This research series aims to redress this imbalance by showcasing exciting new ways of thinking and doing crime and justice research from the global periphery.

Bringing together scholarly work from a range of disciplines, from criminology, law, and sociology to psychology, cultural geography and comparative social sciences, this series offers grounded empirical research and fresh theoretical approaches and cover a range of pressing topics, including international corruption, drug use, environmental issues, sex work, organized crime, innovative models of justice, and punishment and penology.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / Courts
LAW / Criminal Law / General
LAW / Criminal Law / Sentencing
LAW / Criminal Procedure
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Criminology