1st Edition

Resisting Punitiveness in Europe? Welfare, Human Rights and Democracy

Edited By Sonja Snacken, Els Dumortier Copyright 2012
    304 Pages
    by Routledge

    304 Pages
    by Routledge

    This volume provides an important and exciting contribution to the knowledge on punishment across Europe.

    Over the past decade, punitiveness has been studied through analyses of ‘increased’ or ‘new’ forms of punishment in western countries. Comparative studies on the other hand have illustrated important differences in levels of punitiveness between these countries and have tried to explain these differences by looking at risk and protective factors. Covering both quantitative and qualitative dimensions, this book focuses on mechanisms interacting with levels of punitiveness that seem to allow room for less punitive (political) choices, especially within a European context: social policies, human rights and a balanced approach to victim rights and public opinion in constitutional democracies.

    The book is split into three sections:

    1. Punishment and Welfare. Chapters look into possible lessons to be learned from characteristics and developments in Scandinavian and some Continental European countries.
    2. Punishment and Human Rights. Contributions analyze how human rights in Europe can and do act as a shield against – but sometimes also as a possible motor for – criminalization and penalization.
    3. Punishment and Democracy. The increased political attention to victims’ rights and interests and to public opinion surveys in European democracies is discussed as a possible risk for enhanced levels of punitiveness in penal policies and evaluated against the background of research evidence about the wishes and expectations of victims of crime and the ambivalence and ‘polycentric consistency’ of public opinion formations about crime and punishments.

    This book will be a valuable addition to the literature in this field and will be of interest to students, scholars and policy officials across Europe and elsewhere.

    1. Resisting Punitiveness in Europe? An Introduction, Sonja Snacken and Els Dumortier 2. Political Economy, Welfare and Punishment in Comparative Perspective, David Downes  3. Explaining National Differences in the Use of Imprisonment, Tapio Lappi-Seppälä  4. The Scandinavian Path to Welfare, Stein Kuhnle  5. Penalisation and Social Policies, Philippe Mary and Jacky Nagels  6. The Rise of the Penal State: What can Human Rights Do About It?, Els Dumortier, Serge Gutwirth, Sonja Snacken and Paul De Hert  7. Human Rights and Penalization in Central and Eastern Europe: the Case of Hungary, Miklós Lévay  8. Human Rights as the Good and the Bad Conscience of Criminal Law, Françoise Tulkens  9. Victims and the Penal Process: Roles, Expectations and Disappointments, Noëlle Languin and Christian-Nils Robert with the collaboration of Milena Abbiati and Mina Rauschenbach  11. Punitivity From a Victim’s Perspective, Ivo Aertsen  12. Punitive Needs, Society and Public Opinion: An Explorative Study of Ambivalent Attitudes to Punishment and Criminal Justice, Kristof Verfaillie




    Sonja Snacken is Professor of Criminology, Penology and Sociology of Law at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Belgium), where she now holds a ‘Research Fellowship’ (2006-2016). She is currently Research Fellow at the Straus Institute for the Advanced Study of Law and Justice at the New York University School of Law (2010-2011). Her research focuses on the place, choices and consequences of punishment in Belgium and Europe. She is member of the Editorial Board of Punishment and Society and Déviance et Société. She was president of the European Society of Criminology (2004-2005) and has been a member since 2001 (and President since 2006) of the Council for Penological Cooperation of the Council of Europe.

    Els Dumortier is Professor in Youth Criminology and Constitutional Criminal Law at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Criminology Department, Belgium. Her research focuses on questions concerning (the effectiveness of) children’s rights in the domain of juvenile justice, both in contemporary times and in the past (20th century). She participates in several national and international scientific networks in the domain of juvenile justice (Dutch, English and French speaking), both contemporary focussed and historical.