Professorial Fellow in Criminology

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Books and Reports

David Garland, Punishment and Welfare: A History of Penal Strategies, (Quid Pro Books, 2018)

David Garland, The Welfare State: A Very Short Introduction, (Oxford University Press, 2016)

David Garland, Peculiar Institution: America's Death Penalty in an Age of Abolition, (Harvard University Press, 2012)
Abstract: For many Europeans, the persistence of America's death penalty is a stark reminder of American otherness. The practice of state killing is an archaic relic, a hollow symbol that accomplishes nothing but reflects a puritanical, punitive culture - bloodthirsty in its pursuit of retribution. In debating capital punishment, the usual rhetoric points to America's deviance from the western norm: civilized abolition and barbaric retention; 'us' and 'them'.This remarkable new study by a leading social thinker sweeps aside the familiar story and offers a compelling interpretation of the culture of American punishment. It shows that the same forces that led to the death penalty's abolition in Europe once made America a pioneer of reform. That democracy and civilization are not the enemies of capital punishment, though liberalism and humanitarianism are. Making sense of today's differences requires a better understanding of American society and its punishments than the standard rhetoric allows.Taking us deep inside the world of capital punishment, the book offers a detailed picture of a peculiar institution - its cultural meaning and symbolic force for supporters and abolitionists, its place in the landscape of American politics and attitudes to crime, its constitutional status and the legal struggles that define it. Understanding the death penalty requires that we understand how American society is put together - the legacy of racial violence, the structures of social power, and the commitment to radical, local majority rule.Shattering current stereotypes, the book forces us to rethink our understanding of the politics of death and of punishment in America and beyond.

David Garland, The Culture of Control: Crime and Social Order in Contemporary Society, (University of Chicago Press, 2002)
Abstract: The past 30 years have seen vast changes in our attitudes toward crime. More and more of us live in gated communities; prison populations have skyrocketed; and issues such as racial profiling, community policing, and "zero-tolerance" policies dominate the headlines. How is it that our response to crime and our sense of criminal justice has come to be so dramatically reconfigured? David Garland charts the changes in crime and criminal justice in America and Britain over the past twenty-five years, showing how they have been shaped by two underlying social forces: the distinctive social organization of late modernity and the neoconservative politics that came to dominate the United States and the United Kingdom in the 1980s. Garland explains how the new policies of crime and punishment, welfare and security—and the changing class, race, and gender relations that underpin them—are linked to the fundamental problems of governing contemporary societies, as states, corporations, and private citizens grapple with a volatile economy and a culture that combines expanded personal freedom with relaxed social controls. It is the risky, unfixed character of modern life that underlies our accelerating concern with control and crime control in particular. It is not just crime that has changed; society has changed as well, and this transformation has reshaped criminological thought, public policy, and the cultural meaning of crime and criminals. David Garland's The Culture of Control offers a brilliant guide to this process and its still-reverberating consequences.

Richard Sparks, David Garland, Criminology and Social Theory, (Oxford University Press, 2000)
Abstract: Contemporary criminology inhabits a rapidly changing world. The speed and profundity of these changes are echoed in the rapidly developing character of criminology's subject-matter, whether it is crime rates, crime policy, or the practices of policing, prevention and punishment. The questions that animate this book concern the challenges that are posed for criminology by the economic, cultural, and political transformations that have marked late twentieth-century social life. In this unique collection of essays, a diverse group of distinguished social theorists reflect upon the intellectual challenges and opportunities presented to criminology by recent transformations in the social and intellectual landscapes of contemporary societies. As each essay in its different way reveals, crime and punishment have ceased to be topics that can be contained within the bounds of any specialized discipline. Crime and punishment now play such integral roles in the politics of contemporary societies, are so densely entangled with our daily routines, so deeply lodged in our emotional lives, so vividly represented in our cultural imagination, that they easily escape any analytical box, however capacious, that criminology may develop for their containment. Several of the most persuasive sociological accounts of the present give a prominent place in their analysis to crime, fear of crime, and the calculations of risk and measures of repression to which these give rise. This collection offers a series of powerful and provocative accounts of how crime and its control mesh with the underlying social and political dynamics shaping contemporary society. It raises a series of profound questions about the political and ethical frames through which these problems ought best to be governed.


David Garland, 'Theoretical advances and problems in the sociology of punishment ', (2018), Punishment & Society, Vol 20, pp 8-33
Abstract: The last twenty years have seen a remarkable increase in the extent and range of “punishment and society” scholarship. Together with this quantitative expansion, there have also been important qualitative developments in research, analysis and explanation – many of which can be counted as scientific advances. This article specifies a number of dimensions along which theory, method and data in this field have been improved and also identifies some continuing challenges and problems. Examples from the literature on the emergence of “mass incarceration” and the nature of the “war on drugs” are used to indicate the range of theoretical resources that scholars in this field have developed and to point to empirical and theoretical questions that remain to be resolved.

David Garland, 'Penal power in America: Forms, functions and foundations', (2017), Journal of the British Academy, Vol 5, pp 1-35
Abstract: In this article I discuss the exercise of penal power in contemporary America with a view to explaining its historical causes, its contemporary forms and functions, and its social foundations. I argue that the leading characteristic of American penality today is not degradation, retribution, racial caste-making, or neoliberal discipline but instead the imposition of penal controls. The remainder of the article develops some hypotheses about the social and political roots of that distinctive form of punishment. Re-connecting penal controls with patterns of crime and violence, I highlight the deficits of social control and social capital that set America off from comparable nations and I trace the sources of these deficits to the structure and operation of certain American institutions as well as the limited capacities and patterned dispositions of the American state.

David Garland, 'Poder punitivo na América: Bases, formas e funções', (2017), Revista brasileira de ciências criminais, Vol 129
Abstract: Nesta palestra, discuto o exercício do poder punitivo na América contemporânea, visando explicar causas históricas, suas funções e formas contemporâneas, além das bases sociais de fundação. Meu argumento é o de que a questão principal do sistema não é a degradação, a retribuição, a castração racial ou a disciplina neoliberal, mas especulo que seja a imposição de controles penais, cujas raízes são sociais e políticas. Ao reconectar controles penais com padrões de crime e violência, ponho ênfase nas deficiências do controle social e capital social como causas que afetaram certas instituições americanas, assim como limitaram suas capacidades e disposições-padrão no estado Americano, resultando na forma de exercício do poder punitivo na América.

David Garland, 'On the concept of ‘Social Rights’ ', (2015), Social and Legal Studies, Vol 24, pp 622-628

David Garland, 'What is a “history of the present”? On Foucault’s genealogies and their critical preconditions ', (2014), Punishment & Society, Vol 16, pp 365-384
Abstract: In this article Michel Foucault?s method of writing a ?history of the present? is explained, together with its critical objectives and its difference from conventional historiography. Foucault?s shift from a style of historical research and analysis conceived as ?archaeology? to one understood as ?genealogy? is also discussed, showing how the history of the present deploys genealogical inquiry and the uncovering of hidden conflicts and contexts as a means of re-valuing the value of contemporary phenomena. The article highlights the critical observations of present-day phenomena from which a history of the present begins, paying particular attention to Foucault?s concept of ?dispositif? and his method of problematization. Foucault?s analyses of Bentham?s Panopticon, of the disciplinary sources of the modern prison, and of the technology of confession are discussed by way of illustration.

David Garland, 'The welfare state: A fundamental dimension of modern government', (2014), European Journal of Sociology, Vol 55, pp 327-364
Abstract: What, in fact, is the Welfare State? This article traces the emergence of the welfare state as a specific mode of government, describing its distinctive rationality as well as its characteristic forms, functions and effects. It identifies five sectors of welfare governance, the relations between them, and the various forms these take in different times and places. It discusses the contradictory commitments that shape welfare state practices and the problems associated with these practices and contradictions. It situates welfare state government within a long-term account of the changing relations between the social and the economic spheres. And it argues that the welfare state ought to be understood as a “normal social fact”—an essential (though constantly contested) part of the social and economic organization of modern capitalist societies.

David Garland, Leandro Ayres França, 'O que significa escrever uma ‘Historia do Presente’?: A abordagem Genealogica de Foucault explicada', (2014), Revista Justica e Sistema Criminal, Vol 6, pp 73-96
Abstract: In this article Michel Foucault’s method of writing a “history of the present” is explained,together with its critical objectives and its difference from conventional historiography.Foucault’s shift from a style of historical research and analysis conceived as “archaeology”to one understood as “genealogy” is also discussed, showing how the history of the present deploys genealogical inquiry and the uncovering of hidden conflicts and contexts as a means of re-valuing the value of contemporary phenomena. The article highlights the critical observations of present-day phenomena from which a history of the present begins, paying particular attention to Foucault’s concept of “dispositif” and his method of problematization. Foucault’s analyses of Bentham’s Panopticon, of the disciplinary sources of the modern prison, and of the technology of confession are discussed by way of illustration.

David Garland, 'Penality and the Penal State ', (2013), Criminology, Vol 51, pp 475-517
Abstract: The sociology of punishment has developed a rich understanding of the social and historical forces that have transformed American penality during the last 40 years. But whereas these social forces are not unique to the United States, their penal impact there has been disproportionately large, relative to comparable nations. To address this issue, I suggest that future research should attend more closely to the structure and operation of the penal state. I begin by distinguishing penality (the penal field) from the penal state (the governing institutions that direct and control the penal field). I then present a preliminary conceptualization of “the penal state” and discuss the relationship between the penal state and the American state more generally.

David Garland, 'The Problem of the Body in Modern State Punishment ', (2011), Social Research, Vol 78, pp 767-98
Abstract: The article discusses the issue of bodily punishment in modern state punishment, examining imprisonment and capital punishment in the U.S. legal system and examining the effects of these practices on the body. The author says that imprisonment is classified in legal discourse as a deprivation of liberty in which the body is not the target of punishment and argues that prison administration necessarily deals with the body, while courts do not address bodily aspects of sentences. The author also argues that the practice of capital punishment in the U.S. seeks to avoid punishing the body, examining social norms related to state violence and methods used in U.S. executions.

David Garland, 'A Culturalist Theory of Punishment? ', (2009), Punishment & Society, Vol 11, pp 259-68

David Garland, 'On the Concept of Moral Panic ', (2008), Crime, Media, Culture, Vol 4, pp 9-30
Abstract: The article develops a critical analysis of the concept of moral panic and its sociological uses. Arguing that some of the concept's subtlety and power has been lost as the term has become popular, the article foregrounds its Freudian and Durkheimian aspects and explicates the epistemological and ethical issues involved in its use. Contrasting the dynamics of moral panics to the dynamics of culture wars, the author shows that both phenomena involve group relations and status competition, though each displays a characteristically different structure. The piece concludes by situating `moral panics' within a larger typology of concepts utilized in the sociology of social reaction.

Richard Sparks, David Garland, 'Criminology, Social Theory and the Challenge of Our Times ', (2000), British Journal of Criminology, Vol 4, pp 189-204

David Garland, 'The Culture of High Crime Societies ', (2000), British Journal of Criminology, Vol 40, pp 347-75
Abstract: In a continuing attempt to explain the emergence of new strategies of crime control in the UK and USA, a theory of cultural adaptation is developed. The paper argues that the political and policy shifts of recent years have been conditioned by prior changes that have occurred at the level of social structures and cultural sensibilities. A historical account of these changes is outlined, together with a characterization of the culture of high crime societies.

David Garland, 'The Punitive Society: Penology, Criminology and the History of the Present', (1997), Edinburgh Law Review, Vol 1, pp 180-99
Abstract: This paper, which is a reworked version of the inaugural lecture of the Chair of Penology delivered on 24 May 1995 at the University of Edinburgh, sets out an account of the relationship between penology and criminology which reverses the conventional understanding of the relationship between these two disciplines. Instead of viewing penology as an applied sub-discipline of criminology, it is argued that criminological ideas should be viewed as part of the object of study of penological research, insofar as criminology comes to function within penal practices. This conception of penology is illustrated by an analytical account of contemporary penal policies and the role of criminological ideas within them. The analysis suggests that the character of recent crime control policy is not so much punitive as ambivalent. The social fact of high crime rates, together with the increasingly recognised limits of state action as a means of governing crime, have created a new predicament for policy makers and for politicians. The article identifies adaptive strategies and strategies of denial, as well as the different criminologies that accompany them, and outlines a Durkheimian account of social development that situates these developments sociologically.

David Garland, 'Lindsay Paterson, The Autonomy of Modern Scotland ', (1996), Edinburgh Law Review, Vol 1, pp 143-46

David Garland, 'The Limits of the Sovereign State: Strategies of Crime Control in Contemporary Society', (1996), British Journal of Criminology, Vol 36, pp 445-71
Abstract: The article offers a descriptive analysis of strategies of crime control in contemporary Britain and elsewhere. It argues that the normality of high crime rates and the limitations of criminal justice agencies have created a new predicament for governments. The response to this predicament has been recurring ambivalence that helps explain the volatile and contradictory character of recent crime control policy. The article identifies adaptive strategies (responsibilization, defining deviance down, and redefining organizational success) and strategies of denial (the punitive sovereign response), as well as the different criminologies that accompany them.


David Garland, 'Preface ' in David Garland (ed.) Punishment and Welfare (Quid Pro Books 2018)

David Garland, 'The concept of American exceptionalism and the case of capital punishment ' in Kevin R. Reitz (ed.) American Exceptionalism in Crime and Punishment (Oxford University Press 2018)

David Garland, 'Philosophical argument and ideological effect An essay review' in David Brown (ed.) Criminal Laws (N.S.W. Federation Press 2018)

David Garland, 'What is penal populism? Politics, the public and penological expertise ' in Alison Liebling, J. Shapland, J. Tankebe (ed.) Crime, Justice and Social Order (Oxford University Press 2018)

David Garland, 'The will to punish and the rule of law ' in D Fassin (ed.) The Will to Punish (Oxford University Press 2018)

David Garland, 'Las formas peculiares de la pena de muerte en Estados Unidos ' in Gabriel Ignacio Anitua, María Veronica Yamamoto (ed.) Pena de Muerte (Ediciones Didot 2018)

David Garland, 'Prologue ' in Ignacio González Sánchez, Alfonso Serrano Maillo (ed.) Anomia, Cohesión Social y Moralidad (Dykinson S.L. 2018)

David Garland, 'Introduction ' in Marc Schuilenburg (ed.) The Securitization of Society (NYU Press 2017) 1-8

David Garland, 'Peculiar institution America’s death penalty today' in Pat Carlen, Leandro Ayres França (ed.) Alternative Criminologies (Routledge 2017)

David Garland, 'Punishment and welfare Social problems and social structures' in Alison Liebling, Shadd Maruna, Lesley McAra (ed.) The Oxford Handbook of Criminology ( 2017) 77-97

David Garland, 'Peculiar institution America’s death penalty today' in Pat Carlen, Leandro Ayres França (ed.) Criminologias Alternativas (iEA Academia 2017)

David Garland, 'Foreword ' in Nils Christie (ed.) Crime Control As Industry (Routledge 2017)

David Garland, 'Welfare State sotto assedio ' in Criminalia 2016 (Edizioni ETS 2017) 63-76

David Garland, 'Kultur der Kontrolle Verbrechensbekampfung und soziale Ordnung in der Gegenwart' in Daniela Klimke, Aldo Legnaro (ed.) Kriminologische Grundlagentexte (Springer VS 2016) 353-376

David Garland, 'Two or three things I know about Professor Bruner ' in Giuseppina Marsico (ed.) Jerome S. Bruner Beyond 100 (Springer 2015) 201-206

David Garland, 'Cultures of control and penal States ' in Valeria Kiss (ed.) Beyond Punitiveness (Hungarian Society of Criminology 2014) 57-87

David Garland, 'Why the death penalty is disappearing ' in Lill Scherdin (ed.) Capital Punishment (Routledge 2014) 77-92

David Garland, 'Peculiar institution America’s death penalty today' in Henner Hess, Henning Schmidt-Semisch (ed.) Die Sinnprovinz der Kriminalität (Springer VS 2014) 233-244

David Garland, 'Punishment and Social Solidarity ' in Jonathan Simon, Richard Sparks (ed.) The SAGE Handbook of Punishment and Society (SAGE Publications Ltd 2012) 23-39

David Garland, 'Criminology’s Place in the Academic Field ' in Mary Bosworth, Carolyn Hoyle (ed.) What is Criminology? (Oxford University Press 2011) 298-317
Abstract: This chapter argues that criminology will tend to become more inward-looking and will lose its vital connection to the more basic disciplines as it grows more autonomous, institutionally and intellectually; as it increasingly trains recruits by immersing them primarily in its own literature; as its practitioners focus more and more on criminology's own research agendas; and as they proceed to publish only in its own journals. The possibility of an ‘independent’ criminology ought to be regarded as a temptation to be resisted rather than a goal to be embraced. Instead of aspiring to an autonomous discipline, those of us who conduct criminological research and scholarship should work for a criminology that is intellectually and institutionally integrated in the wider university. It advocates a vision of criminology that would operate as a multi-disciplinary, policy-oriented subject, addressing problems of crime, criminal justice, security, and punishment in a variety of ways and drawing upon a range of academic disciplines.

David Garland, 'Concepts of Culture in the Sociology of Punishment ' in Dario Melossi, Maximo Sozzo, Richard Sparks (ed.) Travels of the Criminal Question (Hart Publishing 2011) 17-44

Working Papers

David Garland, 'Why Did the Death Penalty Disappear? ' 2017

David Garland, 'Why does the U.S. have capital punishment? ' 2012