< Back to previous page


Penal politics, the state, civil society and the market: examining the origin, scale and breadth of privatisation across the criminal justice systems in Belgium and France.

Over the past decades, neo-liberal U+2018minimal stateU+2019 governments have increasingly looked towards private enterprise and market-oriented penal reforms for solutions to a wide range of criminal justice issues. These developments have attracted much scholarly attention in the Anglosphere. However, so far few comprehensive criminological studies have empirically and theoretically addressed the more recent and undeniable drive towards privatisation in also some of the U+2018strong stateU+2019 European countries. Therefore, this innovative research aims to explore the origin, scale and breadth of private sector involvement in criminal justice systems in two such countries; Belgium and France. The focus lies on identifying and explaining market-driven trends in penal policies and criminal justice, and how they shifted the roles and interactions of public, private and voluntary sectors. The results of this cross-national project will advance substantial new understandings on the movement towards and away from modes of privatisation within two under-researched criminal justice systems. Data comes from a variety of sources U+2013 e.g. (policy) documents, reports, legislation, interviews. As an analytical framework, this research draws on BourdieuU+2019s field theory and the specific role of capital to understand policy reform and the privatisation of the criminal justice system. The findings of this study will make an important contribution to the field of criminology, law, political science and economics.

Date:1 Jan 2022 →  Today
Keywords:criminal policy, privatisation
Disciplines:Historical criminology, Punishment and criminal justice, Private policing and security services