Theorizing Fines

Punishment and Society, Vol. 11, No. 1, pp. 67-83, 2009

Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 09/85

39 Pages Posted: 16 Sep 2009  

Pat O'Malley

The University of Sydney Law School

Date Written: September 14, 2009

Abstract

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.

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

JEL Classification: K10, K14, K30

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: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1472901

Pat O'Malley (Contact Author)

The University of Sydney Law School ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

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