Featured Abstract from #CrimJustAsia17 Conference

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Next year, the Crime and Justice Research Centre will co-host the Crime and Justice in Asia and the Global South International Conference with the Asian Criminological Society. The conference will be held in Cairns from 10-13 July 2017 and will feature international speakers:

  • Professor Rosemary Barberet;
  • Professor Jiahong Liu;
  • Professor John Braithwaite; and
  • Professor Raewyn Connell.

To showcase the diversity of topics that will be presented during the conference, each week the CJRC blog will feature an accepted abstract from a presenter.

This week’s featured abstract is authored by Dr. David Fonseca from the School of Justice, Faculty of Law at QUT.

Featured abstract: 

“The Sociology of Punishment from below: rethinking mass incarceration through the Global-South”

The emergence of a Southern criminology indicates the need for repositioning knowledge production in the field of crime and crime control as to include broader perspectives and theoretically accommodate new realities outside mainstream academic production. While the arrival of mass incarceration presented an important challenge to Western societies, the conditions of incarceration outside Europe and North America, marked by overcrowding and gruesome conditions, have also changed over the last decades. For understanding the current scenario of high crime rates and mass incarceration in this much vaster background, it is fundamental to grasp the historical development of formal institutions of crime control and imprisonment in the Global South. The reasons underlying the emergence and development of formal institutions of social control have been intertwined with the dynamics of economic production in a world system and the specific aspects of structural, institutional and cultural of these other countries, regions and spaces require close attention for better comprehending a much more complex social reality. Above all, a new theoretical approach has to deal with the importance of the colonial past, the process of nation-building, the recurring deficit of democratic participation, the historical patterns of exploiting and subjugating the local workforce, the decimation of indigenous populations, the largely failed attempts of modernization and the strategies of social control of vast underprivileged social groups. The aim of the present argument resides in developing a decentred approach to punishment, in which the historical roots of the so-called peripheral spaces are taken in their complexity and distinctiveness.

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