Penal Systems: A Comparative Approach is a comprehensive and original introduction to the comparative study of punishment.

Analyzing twelve countries, authors Michael Cavadino and James Dignan offer an integrated and theoretically rigorous approach to comparative penology. They draw upon material provided by a team of eminent penologists to produce an important and highly readable contribution to scholarship in this area.

Early chapters introduce the reader to comparative penology, set out the theoretical framework and consider whether there is currently a ‘global penal crisis.’ Each country is then discussed in turn. Chapters on comparative youth justice and the privatization of prisons follow. Comparisons between countries are drawn within each chapter, giving the reader a synoptic and truly comparative vision of penality in different jurisdictions.

Japan: Iron Fist in a Velvet Penal Glove

Japan: Iron Fist in a Velvet Penal Glove

Japan: Iron fist in a velvet penal glove

Japan is the sole exemplar in this study, and perhaps anywhere in the world, of a distinctive type of late capitalist state to which we have given the name ‘oriental liberal corporatism’. Penologically speaking also it is highly distinctive. Indeed, in many respects it is easily the most paradoxical of all the countries we have been examining. Firstly, for many years it has succeeded, uniquely, in maintaining a comparatively low and stable crime rate1 in spite of the pace and scale of its urbanization and industrial growth,2 and despite the severe economic and social dislocation it also experienced during the course of the twentieth century. Secondly, although in many ways ...

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