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The Politics of Crime ControlEssays in Honour of David Downes$
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Tim Newburn and Paul Rock

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199565955

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199565955.001.0001

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Historicizing Contrasts in Tolerance

Historicizing Contrasts in Tolerance

(p.196) (p.197) 8 Historicizing Contrasts in Tolerance
The Politics of Crime Control

Nicola Lacey

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores two recent contributions to the flourishing debate about the history of criminal justice in modern societies so as to develop some ideas about how it can add to the structured, macro-level understanding which comparative studies also promise. It emphasizes James Q. Whitman's Harsh Justice and Markus Dirk Dubber's The Police Power. In line with this, it proposes that historical studies can usefully complement comparative research, can put questions on the agenda of comparative studies, and can fulfil some of the same explanatory and policy-relevant functions as comparative scholarship. A blend of Whitman's degradation hypothesis and of David Downes' interpretation may usefully be combined with the insights of recent political-economic analysis of comparative institutional advantage. It is argued that additional contributions to the genre of comparative scholarship exemplified by David Downes' Contrasts in Tolerance is important. In addition, the legitimacy of criminology or criminal justice studies as autonomous disciplines must be questioned.

Keywords:   criminal justice, James Q. Whitman, Harsh Justice, Markus Dirk Dubber, The Police Power, David Downes, Contrasts in Tolerance, degradation hypothesis, criminology

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