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Title: Power to imprison : comparing political culture and imprisonment regimes in Ireland and Scotland in the late Twentieth Century
Author: Brangan, Louise Elizabeth Anna
ISNI:       0000 0004 7429 8014
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2018
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Penal politics and imprisonment in the English-speaking west are often presented as having become increasingly harsh and exclusionary since about 1970. Yet, curiously little attention has been given to Ireland and Scotland, two nations considered as exceptions to these pervasive punitive trends, and this presents some considerable gaps in our understanding of penal politics in this era. This thesis uses sociological and historical research to provide an in-depth comparative analysis of political culture and imprisonment regimes in Ireland and Scotland from 1970 until the 1990s. In so doing, the thesis also explores issues central to the history of punishment and comparative penology, in particular the 'punitive turn' in the late twentieth century. Using oral history interviews, archival research and documentary analysis this thesis recovers the history of penal culture in these two jurisdictions and examines how that changed and evolved over the latter part of the twentieth century. It draws upon resources from cultural sociology, governmentality studies and the sociology of punishment to develop the necessary conceptual resources to illuminate and compare penal politics and the varied practices which constitute imprisonment. Imprisonment regimes here are studied as comprising kinds of places, sets of routines and practices. Political culture, meanwhile, is understood as the working cultural symbols, passions, logic of government, political categories, and perceived social origins of crime. While providing grounded and detailed historical accounts of Ireland and Scotland these cases show how generic and global concepts, such as managerialism, rehabilitation, zero tolerance and incarceration intersect with their local social conditions and political relations. This thesis demonstrates that the heterogeneity of imprisonment regimes is a reflection of their political and social context. Therefore, the differences we see in the uses of imprisonment cross-nationally will both reflect and reconstitute their contrasting political cultures.
Supervisor: McAra, Lesley ; Sparks, Richard Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: penal politics ; history ; penal culture ; comparative criminology ; Ireland ; Scotland