Professorial Fellow in Criminology

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Books and Reports

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, '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, '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.

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.

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


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