Comparative Criminal Justice

Francis Pakes*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book/ReportBook


There is much to be discovered through examining how justice is done and social control given shape in places far from home. We can marvel at diversity. It can be difficult to comprehend how profoundly different arrangements are when we look elsewhere. Where do these differences come from? What social, cultural, historical or political factors have been at play in shaping them? Equally we are frequently struck by the discovery that justice systems in remote areas in fact share many similarities with domestic systems. What factors bring about these similarities? For instance, why do we have police forces in virtually every place on earth? Surprisingly perhaps, they often sound very similar, something like police in English-speaking countries, polícia in Portugal, polis in Indonesia or Bulgaria. But are the police in the UK, Portugal and Indonesia as similar as they sound? Probably not. David Nelken, without doubt one of the foremost scholars in comparative criminal justice, argues that comparative work is both 'about discovering surprising differences and unexpected similarities' (Nelken, 2010: 34). They certainly can intrigue in equal measure.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages256
ISBN (Electronic)9780203431368
ISBN (Print)9780415826273
Publication statusPublished - 17 Dec 2014


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