Southern penalities

Russell Hogg1

1 Queensland University of Technology

In their introduction to The Sage Handbook of Punishment and Society the editors trace the emergence of ‘punishment and society’ as an assured and exciting field of contemporary scholarship. They acknowledge its multi-disciplinary character, warn against disciplinary capture and champion intellectual openness as the surest guarantee of continuing vitality in future scholarship. In keeping with this message of ‘openness to new and less familiar bodies of knowledge’ they suggest that future research must reflect ‘the gathering awareness of the need to extend the study of punishment-in-societies beyond the traditional heartlands of the north-Atlantic cultural space and into the global south and east..’ (p4)

This is a welcome invitation although it leaves open the interpretation that the theories and perspectives on ‘punishment and society’ developed in the ‘heartlands’ of the North are to be simply ‘extended’ southwards and eastwards: applied to other societies to generate new bodies of empirical knowledge that validate (or otherwise) northern theory, thus reinforcing an assumption that theory generalized from the north Atlantic experience affords a universal framework of understanding and analysis. On the other hand, what they describe as the ‘primacy of topic over perspective’ in the field opens up the possibility of a deeper engagement with, and on-going reconstruction of, punishment and society scholarship.

To this end the paper is concerned with the project of extending punishment-in-societies scholarship to global South experiences and developments in penality of historical and contemporary significance, with particular reference to the experience of transportation and convictism in the South (and especially the founding of British penal colonies in Australia).

Folded into the experience of north Atlantic societies upon which most punishment and society scholarship has been based are other neglected and under-theorised histories and geographies. The point therefore is not, or not simply, to add further localized studies to the field or to pit South against North, but to bring to the surface the many ways in which South and North are together implicated in histories, practices, cultures (and penalities) that are global in character and scale, and to initiate projects in scholarship and theory that reflect and explicate those connections and their effects.

Convict transportation and life course offending in the 19th century

Professor Hamish Maxwell-Stewart

Associate Dean Research, Faculty of Arts, University of Tasmania

Because of the detailed nature of the information included in transportation records it is possible to follow many of the convicts landed in Van Diemen’s Land over the course of their lives. Using data for 60,000 male and female prisoners arriving in the period 1816-1853 this paper will look at the relationship between conviction prior to arrival in Australia, under sentence and post release. It is particularly interested in exploring the factors that heightened the risk of prosecution in both Britain and the Australian colonies.


Hamish Maxwell-Stewart is a Professor in the School of Humanities at the University of Tasmania. A graduate of the University of Edinburgh, he worked for the Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine, University of Glasgow, before joining the University of Tasmania. He has authored or co-authored a number of books on convict transportation including Closing Hell’s Gates (2008). His most recent work explores the impact of different penal regimes on the health and life course conviction rates for past populations of prisoners. He is also interested in the intergenerational impacts of transportation to Australia.

Global policing, surveillance and intelligence: New Zealand, The United States and Kim Dotcom

D. Palmer1*, I. Warren2

1 Deakin University
2 Deakin University

In December 2015 a New Zealand District Court ruled that internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom and three of his colleagues should be extradited from New Zealand to the United States to face 13 charges of copyright infringement, racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering (United States of America v Dotcom et al [2015] NZ District Court at para 1). This hearing is the most recent of multiple cases that followed a raid on Kim Dotcom’s New Zealand residence in 2012 and the simultaneous closure of multiple servers in several countries running Dotcom’s Megaupload streaming and storage sites. This article utilises the legal proceedings to explore the contemporary nature of ‘global policing’ (Bowling and Sheptycki 2012, 2015), and surveillance and the intersections between the ‘intelligence communities’ and state police. It is argued that the case of Kim Dotcom highlights an emergent assemblage of policing, surveillance and intelligence services operating through and beyond sovereign borders as evidence of the extensive growth of ‘extraterritorial’ law enforcement methods (Nadelmann 1993) and raises concerns about the transparency and accountability of such activities. Though this case concerns breach of copyright and associated offences arising from that alleged breach it points to much larger transformations on policing, surveillance and intelligence at the global level.


Darren Palmer and Ian Warren’s most recent book is Global Criminology (LawBook Co, 2015 Warren and Palmer). They have also recently co-edited a comparative study of Canadian and Australian approaches to national security (Lippert, Walby, Warren & Palmer) National Security, Surveillance and Terror: Canada and Australia in Comparative Perspectives (Palgrave)

Harm reduction and the ethics of drug use in the global south

M. Pereira1, J. Scott2

School of Justice, Queensland University of Technology
School of Justice, Queensland University of Technology

In the past decade or so there has been a proliferation of technologies and digital devices for monitoring, managing and tracking people’s activities, bodies and behaviours. These range from voluntarily collecting information on oneself to imposing self-tracking devices upon individuals for surveillance or to monitor compliance. This paper investigates these self-governance technologies in the context of contemporary drug practices that align with civic expectations of taking responsibility for managing and governing one’s drug use according to an ethos of harm reduction. Using qualitative interview data from young people who use illicit drugs in Brisbane, this paper provides insights into the management of illicit drug use. Study participants reported that they self-governed their drug use through a variety of technologies that are embedded in public health regimes and criminal justice interventions, with the objective of reducing drug related harm.  It is argued that these are ethical practices of the self by which those who use drugs reconstruct their subjectivity in line with broader governmental goals of self-empowerment and participatory citizenship. The study findings are explored in broader historical contexts and the rapid proliferation of innovative digital technologies that enable individuals to manage their own drug use in ways that minimise drug-related harm. We expand our findings to a discussion of how these technologies might interact with public health and criminal justice policies in the global south.


Dr Margaret Pereira has a PhD in criminology from Queensland University of Technology where she currently works as a Research Associate. She has also worked as a lecturer at Charles Sturt University and the University of New England. Her research interests are in illicit drug use including the interaction of drug practices with law and policy, and gender and crime.

The sociology of punishment from below: Rethinking mass incarceration through the global-south

D. Fonseca

Queensland University of Technology (QUT), School of Justice,

The enterprise of the sociology of punishment rests on a reassessment of modern social theory and an appraisal of changes in patterns of crime and punishment in recent years. The emergence of a Southern criminology indicates, though, the need for repositioning knowledge production in the field of crime and crime control as to include broader perspectives and theoretically accommodate new realities outside mainstream academic production. While the arrival of mass incarceration presented an important challenge to Western societies, the conditions of incarceration outside Europe and North America, marked by overcrowding and gruesome conditions, have also changed over the last decades. These changes furthered the crisis of criminal justice systems all over the world, but they resonated distinctly in different contexts. For understanding the current scenario of high crime rates and mass incarceration in this much vaster background, it is fundamental to grasp the historical development of formal institutions of crime control and imprisonment in the Global South. The reasons underlying the emergence and development of formal institutions of social control have been intertwined with the dynamics of economic production in a world system and the specific aspects of structural, institutional and cultural of these other countries, regions and spaces require close attention for better comprehending a much more complex social reality. Above all, a new theoretical approach has to deal with the importance of the colonial past, the process of nation-building, the recurring deficit of democratic participation, the historical patterns of exploiting and subjugating the local workforce, the decimation of indigenous populations, the largely failed attempts of modernization and the strategies of social control of vast underprivileged social groups. The aim of the present argument resides in developing a decentred approach to punishment, in which the historical roots of the so-called peripheral spaces are taken in their complexity and distinctiveness.


David Fonseca holds a PhD in sociology from New York University (USA), a LL M from Utrecht University (The Netherlands) and a LL B from UFMG (Brazil). Before coming to QUT, he was an Assistant Law Professor, teaching Criminal Law and Criminology in UFG (Brazil). His work adopts a socio-legal approach to criminal justice and investigates recent developments in punishment and crime control.

Sub-Plenary Panel: Southern Criminology

Kerry Carrington (chair), Kate Fitzgibbon and Rob White

One of the outstanding contributions of ‘southern theory’ (Connell, 2007; Carrington, Hogg & Sozzo, 2015) is that it propels us to consider the importance of the periphery in assessing knowledge and experiences that too often are interpreted solely from a universalising ‘northern’ perspective. Acknowledgement is needed, therefore, that the geographical and metaphorical ‘south’ likewise has its contributions to a needed global dialogue about ‘what is’ and ‘what ought to be’, about what and who counts or should count, and about the state of the planet generally. This sub-panel showcases how southern criminology is transforming and de-colonising criminological knowledge, bridging global divides and challenging the hegemony of northern theory.

Theorising southern masculinities and violence

Professor Kerry Carrington, School of Justice, Queensland University of Technology

This paper re- theorises the connections between masculinities in the peripheral worlds of the global south.  That the criminal was a monster, an evolutionary degenerate from a primitive culture or species from the global south, was central to the origin stories of criminology. Criminological theory which attributes violence to the manifestation of dangerous masculinities is a product of metropolitan thinking – first articulated in the writings of Lombroso, but re-articulated and embedded more widely in twentieth century criminological thought. The paper argues that the ‘darker’, ‘hairier’ and ‘muscular’ masculinities of the global south translated into a prototype of male delinquency that has captivated the criminological imagination well into the present. The paper concludes that it is mistaken to conceive the violence unleashed by troubled masculinities this way. On the contrary their violence springs not from any innate individualised pathology, or genetic degeneracy,  but a social collectivity of threatened masculinities shaped by the coloniality of gender – that is how the social and historical making of masculinities in the south were shaped by legacies of colonialism (Connell, 2014).

Biography – Professor Kerry Carrington

Professor Kerry Carrington is the Head of the School of Justice in the Faculty of Law at Queensland University of Technology. She is the recipient of the 2014 American Society of Criminology Lifetime Achievement award and the 2013 American Society of Criminology, Distinguished Scholar Award, from the Division of Women and Crime.  Kerry is a sought-after speaker and passionate advocate for the democratisation of knowledge, establishing Australia’s first open access free on-line journal in the discipline – The International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy.  Kerry is an internationally leading scholar in criminology with expertise across a number of fields including: southern criminology, youth justice, masculinity and violence, and gender and global justice.

The four ways of eco-global criminology

Professor Rob White, School of Social Sciences, University of Tasmania, Australia

In charting out the ‘four ways’ of eco-global criminology, this paper discusses the importance of recognising and acting in regards to the differences evident in (1) ways of being (ontology), (2) ways of knowing (epistemology), (3) ways of doing (methodology) and (4) ways of valuing (axiology).  The paper assumes and asserts that global study of environmental crime is essential to the green criminology project, and particularly an eco-global criminology approach. Specific instances of criminal and harmful activity therefore need to be analysed in the context of broad international social, political, economic and ecological processes. The article outlines the key ideas of eco-global criminology, a perspective that argues that global study must always be inclusive of voices from the periphery and margins of the world’s metropolitan centres, and critical of the social relations that sustain the epistemological as well as material realities and legacies of colonialism and imperialism. Yet, in doing so there arise many paradoxes and conundrums that likewise warrant close attention.

The changing landscape of Australian responses to intimate partner violence: Examining the implications of policy transfer from the global north to the global south

Kate Fitz-Gibbon (presenting), Monash University and Sandra Walklate

The last decade has seen unprecedented policy attention focused on the prevalence of, and responses to intimate partner violence in the Australian community.  System reviews, held at the state and national level, have highlighted the inadequacy of system responses to intimate partner violence as well as the tendency for Australian jurisdictions to look beyond its own borders to interventions introduced in the north when determining new policy directions. This paper considers the implications of the criminological embrace of international policy in seeking to improve responses to intimate partner violence. We adopt this focus in recognition of the significant policy activity introduced in this area in recent years, both within and beyond the global south.

In order to examine the extent to which policies introduced in the north can offer meaningful interventions in the south, this paper falls into three parts. First we consider what counts as intimate partner violence and how this differs across regions and cultures spanning the global north and south. In the second part we shall consider the different ways in which understanding violence against women has led to variant strands of intervention and the ways in which interventions in the global south have learnt from but also diverged away from the learnings of the global north. In the third part, using policy interventions in the United Kingdom and Australia as our examples we consider the extent to which Northern theorised interventions have been successfully (or otherwise) deployed in each of these countries to address intimate partner violence.