Events / Neil A. Weiner Research Speaker Series

What Is Penal Populism: Politics, the Public, and Criminological Expertise

with David Garland

Past Event
Wednesday, Sep 9, 2015
12:30 PM — 1:30 PM
Vera Institute of Justice

In this talk, David Garland considers the balance between professional expertise and community sentiment in the formulation of penal policy–especially where moral, rather than instrumental, considerations appear to predominate. It raises theoretical and empirical questions about the nature of “public opinion” and political questions about its proper status in the democratic process. Finally, it considers the professional responsibilities of criminological experts in relation to policy formation and political debate.

Professor David Garland is the Arthur T. Vanderbilt Professor of Law and a professor of sociology at New York University. Born and raised in Scotland, he is a graduate of the University of Edinburgh and taught there from 1979 to 1997 before moving to the United States. Garland is a fellow of the British Academy and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the author of a series of award-winning books on punishment and criminal justice, including Punishment and Welfare (1985), Punishment and Modern Society (1990), The Culture of Control (2001), and Peculiar Institution: America’s Death Penalty in an Age of Abolition (2010). His most recent book, The Welfare State: A Very Short Introduction, will be published by Oxford University Press early in 2016.