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.

South Africa: The Transition from Apartheid

South Africa: The Transition from Apartheid

South Africa: The transition from apartheid

As we noted in Chapter 1, South Africa does not fit neatly into our typology of political economies. Indeed, South Africa offers an interesting amalgam of neo-liberal and social democratic elements. Above all it is a transitional society, and in seeking to evolve from an authoritarian to a more democratic order it operates in a very different social, political and economic context from any of the others we have described. But what has so far seemed to be emerging is a predominantly neo-liberal polity, with the punitiveness that goes along with it.

It could be said that apartheid South Africa constituted two separate polities, one parasitic on the labour and poverty of the other. White ...

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