The View from Elsewhere: Scandinavian Penal Practices and International Critique
26 Pages Posted: 8 Jan 2018
Date Written: January 4, 2018
While the Scandinavian model of detention has been favorably received in comparative criminology, its reception in the international human rights community has been ambiguous. Initial reviews by international bodies of Scandinavian practices were positive: “models to which most other countries should aspire’. However, an increasing chorus of critique of particular detention practices from UN and Council of Europe human rights has clouded the picture. These negative appraisals deserve consideration. This chapter describes the evaluations of Scandinavian detention and punishment practices by UN bodies and provides a comparative analysis by contrasting them with reviews of four other Western European states. The chapter also argues that causal explanations based on the welfare state are important but need to be balanced by theories which foreground politics and the interplay between agency and structure.
Keywords: Detention, Concluding Observations, United Nations Treaty Bodies, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Committee Against Torture, European Committee for the Prevention of Torture, Monitoring
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