Political economy and penal systems

Authored by: Michael Cavadino , James Dignan

The Routledge Handbook of European Criminology

Print publication date:  July  2013
Online publication date:  August  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415685849
eBook ISBN: 9780203083505
Adobe ISBN: 9781136185496


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Even in our supposedly ‘globalized’ world, countries differ from each other in their practices of punishment. This is perhaps most obvious when comparing modes of punishment (the differing methods whereby punishment is inflicted): the most dramatic example of penal difference in the modern world is surely the contrast between the enthusiastic employment of the death penalty in some countries and its abjuration in others. However, if we restrict our gaze to within the bounds of contemporary Europe we do not encounter this kind of stark difference in penal modes. On the specific matter of capital punishment, at the present day Belarus is the only country in Europe which employs the death penalty. 1 In terms of modes of punishment generally, variations between European countries can be seen as being fairly minimal: all employ imprisonment (with provision for early release), fines and community penalties of various kinds but not corporal punishment.

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