242 Pages
    by Routledge

    242 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book questions punishment as concept, social phenomenon and contemporary practice. It unpacks punishment’s nature and the assumptions that underpin it, examines its targets, objectives and implications, locates punishment and punitivity within their social contexts, and aims to unsettle the idea that there is something common-sensical, necessary and unavoidable about punitive justice.

    Questioning Punishment develops its argument through an innovative structure organised around five central questions: what punishment is; who punishment’s targets and subjects are; how punishment is perpetuated and experienced; when and where punishment unfolds and why we punish. It ends by considering the implications of this enquiry to understandings of punishment and broader pursuits of justice.

    This book is essential reading for all those engaged with the sociology of punishment and prisons, criminal justice and theoretical criminology.

    Introduction  1.What Is Punishment?  2.Who Are the Targets and the Subjects of Punishment?  3.How Do We Punish and How Does It Feel?  4.When and Where Does Punishment Unfold?  5.Why Do We Punish?  6.So What? The Pathology of Punishment and the Promise of Justice


    Henrique Carvalho is Reader in Law at the School of Law, University of Warwick, UK.

    Anastasia Chamberlen is Associate Professor of Sociology at the Sociology Department, University of Warwick, UK.

    "The product of years of collaborative endeavour, this engaging, provocative book examines multiple facets of punishment to expose how deeply problematic it is. Revealing our pathological dependence on punishment, it invites us to explore potential new conceptualisations of justice. Essential reading for all students and scholars of punishment."

    Lucia ZednerSenior Research Fellow in Law, All Souls College & Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Oxford

    "This is an important, scholarly and thought-provoking book. It examines and challenges the way in which punishment has become such a central feature of everyday life in modern society. Rather than seeking justice through punishment, it makes the case for a just society that would have no need for punitive justice."

    John Pratt, Emeritus Professor of Criminology, Institute of Criminology, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

    "This important book offers a clear and comprehensive analysis of the ‘who, what, when, where, how and why’ of modern punishment. Questioning taken-for-granted assumptions, and unpacking the persistent allure of punishment, the book untangles the many threads of punitiveness that run through prevalent notions of justice. A vital resource for anyone seeking to understand and rethink the role of punishment in contemporary societies."

    Sarah LambleReader in Criminology and Queer Theory, Department of Criminology, Birkbeck, University of London

     ‘The world of punishment has become inundated with easy answers (“what works!”) and starved of hard questions. Thankfully, in this invaluable new work, Carvalho and Chamberlen ask all the right questions of a complex institution in desperate need of this sort of sophisticated interrogation.’

    Shadd Maruna, Professor of Criminology, Queen's University Belfast

    'As many countries are going through their most punitive moment in peace time, questioning why, whom and how we punish cannot be more timely, echoing social movements and political reforms with similar interrogations. Through a rigorous and accessible analysis, Henrique Carvalho and Anastasia Chamberlen offer a much-needed reflection for citizens and, hopefully, politicians.'

    Didier Fassin, Professor at the Collège de France and author of The Will to Punish