Madness and Crime: Historical Perspectives on Forensic Psychiatry
International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, Vol. 37, No. 1, pp. 1-16, 2014
45 Pages Posted: 20 Sep 2016
Date Written: September 14, 2016
The human sciences have been profoundly significant in the development of modern society and our current understanding of individuals and groups within them. The human sciences have a fascinating history – emerging first as products of the bourgeois society that arose in the era of the Enlightenment and the French Revolution, the human sciences developed in a dialectical relationship between humanization and disciplining, emancipation and coercion, assimilation and marginalization, and democratic rights and political control. In this article, we sketch the general historical background of forensic psychiatry and we discuss the main themes, points of interest and questions that emerge in the jurisdiction-specific contributions to the special edition of International Journal of Law and Psychiatry for which this article serves as Introduction. Recurring themes include: forensic psychiatry’s relation to legal traditions and schools; the relation between legal and medical ideals, theories, discourses and practices, including in particular differing and changing meanings of criminal insanity and non-responsibility.
Keywords: International Comparison, Legal Traditions, Professionalization, Medicalization, Criminology, Social Defense
JEL Classification: K10, K14, K30
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation