When Children Kill Children: Penal Populism and Political Culture

Paperback | February 15, 2012

byDavid A. Green

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When Children Kill Children: Penal Populism and Political Culture examines the role of political culture and penal populism in the response to the emotive subject of child-on-child homicide. The book explores the reasons underlying the vastly differing responses of the English and Norwegian criminal justice systems to the cases of James Bulger and Silje Redergard respectively. Whereas James Bulger's killers were subject to extreme press and public hostility, held in secure detention fornine months and tried in an adverserial court; Redergard's killers were shielded from public antagonism and carefully reintegrated into the local community. This book argues that English adverserial political culture creates far more incentives to politicize high-profile crimes than Norwegianconsensus political culture. Drawing on a wealth of empirical research, the author suggests that the tendency for politicians to justify punitive responses to crime by invoking harsh political attitudes is based upon a flawed understanding of public opinion. In a compelling study, this book proposes a more deliberative response to crime that accommodates the informed public in news ways - ways that might help build social capital and remove incentives for cynical penal populism.

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When Children Kill Children: Penal Populism and Political Culture examines the role of political culture and penal populism in the response to the emotive subject of child-on-child homicide. The book explores the reasons underlying the vastly differing responses of the English and Norwegian criminal justice systems to the cases of Jame...

Dr David A. Green is Assistant Professor of Sociology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, The City University of New York. Prior to this he was a postdoctoral Junior Research Fellow at Christ Church, University of Oxford. His main research interests involve the interrelationship between crime, media, public opinion, and politics ...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.01 inPublished:February 15, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199653526

ISBN - 13:9780199653522

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Table of Contents

1. When children kill children2. Culture, politics in the media in Norway and England3. Crime and punishment in Norway and England4. The constraints and effects of political culture5. The constraints of discourse6. Media constraints and the formation of political opinions7. Contextualizing tragedy8. English penal policy climates and political culture9. Political culture, legitimacy, and penal populism10. Public opinion versus public judgment11. Effecting penal climate change

Editorial Reviews

"this important, stimulating book has the potential to become a landmark contribution to the development of comparative penology." --John Pratt, Punishment and Society