Political Theory

Concerning State Punishment


One of the roles of the modern nation-state is to impose legal punishment after violation of criminal law. This conference focused on some of the key issues concerning the justification of punishment in a liberal democracy. What is the appropriate scope of the state's power to sanction? What are the proper aims and justification of the exercise of that power?


Conference Readings

Bazelon, David. “The Morality of the Criminal Law.” Southern California Law Review (1976): 385-405.

Beccaria, Cesare. On Crimes and Punishments. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing, 1986.

Bentham, Jeremy, “Punishment and Utility” In Punishment and Rehabilitation, Third Edition, compiled by Jeffrie G. Murphy. Belmont: Wadsworth Publishing Company, 1995. Page(s): 21-35.

Braithwaite, John. Crime, Shame and Reintegration. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989.

Duff, R. A. Punishment, Communication, and Community. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.

Duff, R. A. and S. E. Marshall, “Civic Punishment” In Democratic Theory and Mass Incarceration, edited by Albert Dzur, Ian Loader, and Richard Sparks, 33-59. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016.

Fuller, Lon L. The Morality of Law (Revised Edition). New Haven: Yale University Press, 1969.

Lacey, Nicola. State Punishment. New York: Routledge, 1994.

Liebling, Alison (assisted by Helen Arnold). Prisons and their Moral Performance: A Study of Values, Quality, and Prison Life. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004.

Murphy, Jeffrie G., “Last Words on Retribution” In The Routledge Handbook of Criminal Justice Ethics, edited by Jonathan Jacobs and Jonathan Jackson, 28-41. New York: Routledge, 2016.

Stuntz, William J. The Collapse of American Criminal Justice. Cambridge: Belknap Press, 2011.

von Hirsch, Andrew. Doing Justice: The Choice of Punishments. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1986.