Globalisation and criminal justice trends in Italy

Authored by: David Nelken

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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The aim of this book is to look at variations in crime and variations in institutional reactions within Europe in terms of institutional arrangements, legal definitions and policy responses. It thus seeks to draw conclusions about the presence or absence of pan-European trends. But such an enquiry begs a series of questions. How far does it still make sense to think about criminal justice systems in terms of separable national jurisdictions or European-wide trends at a time of global links between crime threats and criminal justice responses (Pakes, 2010b; Nelken, 2012a)? In what respects can nation-states still be considered as separate ‘units’ with distinctive legal cultures that explain or instantiate their response to deviance? (Nelken, 2011d). Increasingly, scholars interested in understanding international and national trends in criminal sanctions have shown that it can be important to distinguish among different kinds of trends (even if, as here, we limit ourselves to deliberately introduced changes in criminal justice rather than deeper-lying social, economic, political and cultural convergence). Different issues are raised in seeking to understand supposedly ‘global’ international legal developments, the spread of European-wide standards, or the more common efforts by single countries to imitate or ‘borrow’ legal institutions, practices or ideas from elsewhere (see e.g. Newburn and Sparks, 2004; Jones and Newburn, 2007; Nolan, 2009; Karstedt, 2007; Melossi, Sparks and Sozzo, 2011; Crawford, 2011).

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