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The slide of Punishment. An anthropological study of Post-Modern prison governance


Developing an interdisciplinary approach between Criminology, Social control theories and Anthropology, the project contributes a new theoretical framework for the analysis of punitive transformation in Europe. It analyses mechanisms and devices of a new model of penal management in the spanish prison system and compares it to relevant data from german and european research projects. The new penal management model has been conceptualized by the researcher as Therapeutic governance. This concept serves to describe the institutional strategies, disciplinary actions and rhetoric orders through which the prison allows to legitimate a new punitive era. Assuming that prison governance is significant for society as a whole the research will analyse control technologies exerted in the prison spaces and how they slide into public dynamics through different agencies. Consecuently another new concept, the Punitive Agora, will be developed. This concept puts under discussion and theorizes three current tendencies of postmodern penality: the download of responsibility for crime control into the community, the emergence of a penal populism rhetoric and the discriminatory criminalization of specific groups. Comparing its findings with studies produced in Germany, Europe and beyond, the project will enable to take up important questions of contemporary governance. Thus, it will allow to consolidate the researcher’s career as an international specialist in the field of Anthropology and Criminology. He will develop and apply new tools for interdisciplinary and comparative analysis and increase his competitiveness in academia. The researcher’s capacity to stimulate collaborations between international departments and research groups will be reinforced. Finally, the project will allow to enhance collaborations between european research partners and to produce high-level european scientific synergies.

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Hofgartenstrasse 8
80539 Munchen

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Bayern Oberbayern München, Kreisfreie Stadt
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Astrid Fischer (Ms.)
EU contribution
No data