Punishment across borders : transnational conceptions of punishment ; the conception of punishment in classical Athens, Islam and international criminal justice
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This thesis sets out to research the concept and institution of punishment in three cultures and systems of classical Athens, Islam and International Criminal Justice. The second overall objective of this thesis is to establish how the insights from these three traditions can enrich our understanding of the concept of punishment and also designing humane, just and effective methods of punishment. I will argue that our response to wrongdoing can be divided into three distinct categories: punitive measures, impunity, and forgiveness. This thesis will contend that western-oriented concept and methods of punishment have paid inadequate attention to the third category, forgiveness. This imbalance between the three categories of responses to wrongdoing has led to the crises of self-definition and effectiveness of the leading theories and methods of punishment. I propose that in order to address some of the conceptual and institutional deficiencies of modern institutions of punishment, we must contemplate communitarian, restorative and cross-cultural approaches, in particular in the context of post-conflict justice and international criminal justice. I identify the Islamic concept and institution of punishment as a suitable model that can make valuable contributions to such an endeavour. In examining the concept and institution of punishment, I will also argue that the institution of punishment of a given society/tradition is a gateway that sheds light on other aspects and institutions of the society. As such a closer examination of the institution of punishment in the cultures under investigation would question the popular views and prejudices about democratic Athens, Islamic world, and liberal democracy.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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