The Rise of the Penal State in Latin America

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The recent work of Loïc Wacquant identified the emergence of the penal state as a core feature of the global expansion of neoliberalism and the neoliberal government urban marginality. Drawing on Wacquant’s theoretical and conceptual reflections, this article analyses the emergence of a Latin American form of penal statecraft. By taking an in-depth look at the increasing criminalization of urban marginality in contemporary Latin America as well as the related developments in the local prison system, the single most important institutional expression of the Latin American penal state, important commonalities and differences between the penal statecraft experiments throughout Latin America and the countries of the ‘developed world’ are highlighted.
TidsskriftContemporary Justice Review
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)57-76
Antal sider20
StatusUdgivet - 2012
Udgivet eksterntJa


  • penal state
  • prison
  • neoliberalism
  • urban marginality
  • Latin America
  • Loïc Wacquant

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