Journal of
Law and Conflict Resolution

  • Abbreviation: J. Law Conflict. Resolut
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-9804
  • DOI: 10.5897/JLCR
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 98


How ownership of penal history was lost: An anti synthesis of modern criminal law

Sacha Raoult
Centre for Research in Criminal Matters, 3 Avenue Robert Schuman 13628 Aix-En-Provence Cedex France.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 10 February 2010
  •  Published: 28 February 2012


Some writings in philosophy of history, legal sociology, law and economics have speculated, with more or less academic rigor, that history of crime and punishment might be synthesized and explained in a short sentence. From Marx to Durkheim, these thinkers seem to believe that penal evolution merely translates a political expression of power. But by changing the scholarly point of view, one might just see the exact opposite. As the meaning of penal system became gradually saturated, and consequences of punishment became more and more incomprehensible, postmodern historiography can reverse this synthesis and tell the tale of how all ownership of penal history was lost, assuming it was ever possessed.


Key words: Efficiency, neo-Marxism, path dependency, postmodernism, sociology of criminal law.