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Tracing the Relationship between Inequality, Crime and PunishmentSpace, Time and Politics$
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Nicola Lacey, David Soskice, Leonidas Cheliotis, and Sappho Xenakis

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266922

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266922.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM BRITISH ACADEMY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.britishacademy.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright British Academy, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in BASO for personal use.date: 20 September 2021

Tracing the Links between Crime, Punishment, and Inequality: A Challenge for the Social Sciences

Tracing the Links between Crime, Punishment, and Inequality: A Challenge for the Social Sciences

Chapter:
(p.1) 1 Tracing the Links between Crime, Punishment, and Inequality: A Challenge for the Social Sciences
Source:
Tracing the Relationship between Inequality, Crime and Punishment
Author(s):

Nicola Lacey

David Soskice

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197266922.003.0001

The propositions that social inequality shapes crime and punishment, and that crime and punishment themselves cause or exacerbate inequality, are conventional wisdom. Yet, paradoxically, they are also controversial. In this volume, historians, criminologists, lawyers, sociologists and political scientists come together to try to solve this paradox. This introduction examines some of the main intersections and points of productive dialogue emerging from the essays, organised around two key themes: the insights to be gained by moving between different levels of analysis; and the importance of the perspective provided by comparative and historical lenses. It concludes that a high crime/punishment/inequality equilibrium is associated with deep failures of incorporation, integration and inclusion in the social, political and economic systems which it afflicts. And these failures of inclusion operate in terms of certain key dynamics: segregation; de facto or de jure disenfranchisement; and failures of coordinating capacity which are premised not only on institutional design but also on the diversity of and conflict between interests.

Keywords:   Inequality, Crime, Punishment, Politics, Political economy, Democracy, Imprisonment, Poverty, Race, Colonialism

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