Beyond punitiveness? Governance of crime and authoritarian heritage in Serbia

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This article sets out to examine the degree to which democratic transition in Serbia after 2000 has brought about a democratic mode of crime governance in the country. It is shown that while penal norms and policies have undergone a significant degree of democratization in that their outlook has tended not to be punitive, the judiciary (and, to some degree, other actors in the penal field) has been increasingly inclined towards punitive practices. Taking an institutional approach to explain this discrepancy, the article argues that pockets of authoritarianism in the executive have survived the transition to democracy and have continued to exert pressure on the judiciary in ways that have influenced judicial decision-making towards greater punitiveness.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369-386
Number of pages18
JournalPunishment and Society
Issue number3
Early online date1 Jun 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016


  • authoritarianism, democratic transition, penal policy, punitiveness, Serbia