SP372      Half Unit
Punishment and Penal Policy

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Leonidas Cheliotis OLD 2.51

Availability

This course is available on the BSc in International Social and Public Policy, BSc in International Social and Public Policy and Economics and BSc in International Social and Public Policy with Politics. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit. This course is available with permission to General Course students.

This course is only available to third year undergraduate students.

Course content

This third-year course will run as a half-unit option, and will explore punishment and penal policy from a range of comparative perspectives. Focusing on Anglophone jurisdictions and the rest of the world in equal measure, the course will consider in depth a wide variety of historical and international comparative studies of punishment and penal policy, both from the field of criminology and beyond. In so doing, the course will critically examine theoretical frameworks and empirical research on such issues as:

• the forms state punishment has assumed over time and in different national and regional contexts;

• the array and relative significance of the reasons why punishment and penal policy may develop, qualitatively as well as quantitatively, in particular ways at given historical junctures and in different jurisdictions;

• the relationship between political systems and punishment, with particular reference to processes of democratisation;

• the links between penal policy and different forms of economic organisation, from preindustrial capitalism to welfare capitalism and neoliberalism; and

• the role of punishment in society as explained through psychosocial theories and research

Thanks to its strong comparative focus, the course would neatly complement SA218 (part of which will be focused on introducing students to basic issues of punishment), and if also offered at postgraduate level, enhance existing provision in the School in the field of penology (e.g., the course ‘Explaining Punishment: Philosophy, Political Economy, Sociology’ (LL4CL), taught by Professors Lacey and Ramsay in the Law Department).

Indicative course content

1 The Contours of State Punishment

2 Continuity and Change in Punishment and Penal Policy: Historical Comparative Perspectives

3 Convergences and Contrasts in Punishment and Penal Policy: International Comparative Perspectives

4 Political Systems and Punishment, Part I: Democracy

5 Political Systems and Punishment, Part II: Democratisation

6 Reading Week

7 The Political Economy of Punishment: Marxist and Neo-Marxist Perspectives from the Global North and the Global South

8 Punishment, Politics and the Economy: Institutional Perspectives from around the World

9 The Cultural Uses of Punishment

10 The Emotional Lives of Punishment

11 Cultural Representations of Punishment

Teaching

Courses in Social Policy will follow the Teaching Model which has been adopted by the Department of Social Policy during the period of the pandemic. This is outlined HERE: https://www.lse.ac.uk/social-policy/Current-Students/teaching-in-the-department-of-social-policy

This course will be taught through a combination of either a recorded lecture plus a follow-up Q and A session or a ‘live’ on-line lecture; and classes/seminars of 1-1.5 hours (with size and length of classes/seminars depending on social distancing requirements).

Further information will be provided by the Course Convenor in the first lecture of the course.

The course will be delivered in Lent term.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 essay in the LT.

Indicative reading

Alexander, M. (2010) The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. New York and London: The New Press.

Brown, M. (2009) The Culture of Punishment: Prison, Society, and Spectacle. New York and London: New York University Press.

Dumm, T. L. (1987) Democracy and Punishment: Disciplinary Origins of the United States. Madison, WI: The University of Wisconsin Press.

Garland, D. (1985) Punishment and Welfare: A History of Penal Strategies. Aldershot, UK: Gower.

Gottschalk, M. (2014) Caught: The Prison State and the Lockdown of American Politics. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Karstedt, S. (ed.) (2009) Legal Institutions and Collective Memories. Oxford: Hart.

Lacey, N. (2008) The Prisoners’ Dilemma: Political Economy and Punishment in Contemporary Democracies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

McBride, K. (2007) Punishment and Political Order. Ann Arbor, MI: The University of Michigan Press.

Reiner, R. (2007) Law and Order: An Honest Citizen’s Guide to Crime and Control. Cambridge: Polity.

Salvatore, R. D., Aguirre, C. and G. M. Joseph (eds) (2001) Crime and Punishment in Latin America: Law and Society since Colonial Times. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Assessment

Essay (100%, 3000 words) in the ST.

Student will be expected to produce an essay in the Summer Term based on one of the topics covered by the teaching across the Term, chosen from a pre-defined list of topics. 

Key facts

Department: Social Policy

Total students 2020/21: Unavailable

Average class size 2020/21: Unavailable

Capped 2020/21: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication