Theorizing Fines

Pat O'Malley

University of Sydney - Faculty of Law

September 14, 2009

Punishment and Society, Vol. 11, No. 1, pp. 67-83, 2009
Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 09/85

Given their central place as a sanction in criminal justice, the virtual absence of a theoretical literature on them is a serious deficit. The paper reviews the principal contributions to date, and argues that they suffer from a misleading conviction that sanctions are driven by production relations. To begin with, this seriously underestimates the impact of penal discourses and practice, which can better account for variations in the rise, uneven distribution and recent decline in fines' dominance as a punishment. Equally important is the failure to consider the nexus between the rise of the modern regulatory fine (for example 'on the spot' fines) and the rise of consumer societies.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 39

Keywords: fines, regulation, consumer society, social theory, money

JEL Classification: K10, K14, K30

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Date posted: September 16, 2009  

Suggested Citation

O'Malley, Pat, Theorizing Fines (September 14, 2009). Punishment and Society, Vol. 11, No. 1, pp. 67-83, 2009; Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 09/85. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1472901

Contact Information

Pat O'Malley (Contact Author)
University of Sydney - Faculty of Law ( email )
New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006

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