Zelia Gallo

Italy's Dual Penality

  • Abstract

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This article analyses the dual nature of Italian punishment, which is both punitive and moderate. It emphasises the importance of politics in systematising Italian penality, and argues for a (re)introduction of political variables - institutions, culture and dynamics - in broader analyses of Western punishment. The article sets up a 'conversation' between the Italian case and existing theories of Western penality, in particular accounts that focus on late modernity and punishment, on punishment and post-Fordism, and on penal divergence across political economic models. As well as providing an account of Italian punishment, the conversation serves to problematize assumptions on Western polities' descent into 'penal dystopia', by testing them against a case study that does not fit easily within existing penal theories.

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