Comparative Penology

This area of research brings together comparative research in the field of imprisonment and penology studies. Comparative research is a critical component of the work of contemporary analysis in this area, whether it is comparison of historical and contemporary practices, or cross-jurisdictional analysis. This research covers the full spectrum of pre, during, and post imprisonment comparison, within and between nation states.

Current & recent projects

2017-2020, European Commission Horizon 2020 MSCA-RISE-2016, Improving collaborative working between correctional and mental health services.

2012-2017, European Research Council Subjectivity, Identity and Penal Power: Incarceration in a Global Age

2015-2017, Partnership Development Grant, Prisons Transparency Project.

2013-2016, European Research Council, Home and Away: Gender, Nation, Deportation.

2012-2014, ARC DECRA,  Othering’ in penal policy and practice: A cross-national study of imprisonment between Australia and Sweden.

2015-2016, Norway-EU EEA grant, EPTrans (an Ethnography of Prisoners’ Transitions) Project.

2011-2015, ERC-funded project, Crime Control at the Borderlands of Europe. 

Read about these comparative penology projects and see our full list of current and recent projects here.

Recent publications

Eriksson, A. (2015) ‘Prisons and the social production of immorality’, in A. Eriksson (ed) Punishing the Other: The social production of immorality revisited’, Routledge. 

Eriksson, A. (ed) (2015) Punishing the Other: The social production of immorality revisited, Routledge.

Johnsen, B. (forthcoming) ‘The prison landscape: Leisure activities in closed prisons – Time, Space and Purpose’, In Fransson, E., Giofre, F., & Johnsen, B (Eds) Prison Architecture and Humans – PriArcH. Oslo: Callelen Damm.

Scharff Smith, P.  & Ugelvik, T. (forthcoming) Embraced by the Welfare State? Punishment and the Nordic Model. Palgrave Macmillan: United Kingdom.

Spivakovsky, C. (forthcoming, 2015) ‘Australasian Prisons’ in Jewkes, Y., Bennett, J., and Crewe, B. Handbook on Prisons, Second Edition. Routledge: London.

Spivakovsky, C. (2013) Racialized Correctional Governance: The Mutual Constructions of Race and Criminal Justice. Advances in Criminology Series, Ashgate Publishing: Surrey, UK.

Tubex, H. (2013) Pitfalls of comparative (penological) research and how to overcome them. In Beyens, K., Christiaens, C. Claes, B. De Ridder, S.,Tournel, H. and Tubex, H. (eds) The pains of doing criminological research. Brussels: VUBPress: 195-215.

Tubex, H. and Green, D. (2015). ‘Special issue: Punishment, values and local cultures’Punishment and Society, 17(3): 267-270.

Ugelvik, T. (forthcoming) ‘The Limits of the Welfare State? Foreign National Prisoners in the Norwegian Crimmigration Prison.’ In P. Scharff Smith & T. Ugelvik (Eds.),  Embraced by the Welfare State? Punishment and the Nordic Model. Palgrave Macmillan: United Kingdom.

View the full list of recent comparative penology publications here.


Click here to see our comparative penology academic research network.