Siinviidatud vabalevis olev tekst leidis oma koha peamiselt kahel põhjusel. Esiteks, karistuspoliitika Põhjamaades on leidnud ikka äramärkimist, kui leebe ja vähetõhus. Teiseks, tegemist on võrdlevanalüüsiga valdkonnas, kus võrdlemine ei ole ehk väga lihtne. Nii võib see tekst huvi pakkuda politseinikele ja teistele karistuspoliitikaga puutumises olijatele, aga ka tudengitele, kel plaanis läbi viia või kes tunnevad huvi võrdlevanalüüsi vastu.
Following Pratt’s (2008a; 2008b) and Pratt and Eriksson’s (2014) claim that the Nordic countries are unusually mild and humane with regard to their punishment practices, a range of scholars—mainly from Nordic jurisdictions—have proposed various ways in which the ‘Nordic exceptionalism thesis’ is, in their view, deficient.
Perhaps the most strongly expressed critique has been that the analysis understates the degree to which imprisonment in Nordic countries is painful and underestimates the extent to which Nordic prisons are still, in essence, prisons (e.g. Mathiesen 2012; Reiter et al. 2018).
Based on a survey administered to prisoners within 13 prisons in England & Wales and Norway, as part of a research programme with explicitly comparative aims, this article seeks to address both the relative and absolute dimensions of the core assertion of the Nordic exceptionalism thesis, and in doing so provide a more secure empirical basis for more explanatory accounts.
In a sophisticated effort at cross-national comparison, Karstedt (2015) has used two main indicators to evaluate penal regimes: first, rates of imprisonment; and, second, a measure of prison conditions based on a number of official indicators, which enable the rating of penal jurisdictions according to the degree to which each one fulfils a set of minimum standards. […] Both radical and Foucauldian critiques suggest that comparisons and evaluations obfuscate the fundamental point about prisons: that they are essentially damaging and repressive, almost regardless of any differences between them.
Thus, while we support Brangan’s (2020) suggestion that crossnational penology should move beyond ‘culturally comparable’ nations (607), our experience is that, even when comparing jurisdictions with a considerable degree in common, doing so is far from straightforward. Our conceptual framework represents an advance on many existing metrics, and, at the very least, provides a basis for bi-directional analysis which tempers the risk that the complexity of any one nation’s penal practices are crushed into a single label (i.e. punitive or lenient).
Crewe, B., Ievins, A., Larmour, S., Laursen, J., Mjåland, K., & Schliehe, A. (2022). Nordic penal exceptionalism: A comparative, empirical analysis. The British Journal of Criminology.