Contesting probation in Scotland: how an agnostic perspective travels

McNeill, F. (2019) Contesting probation in Scotland: how an agnostic perspective travels. Law and Social Enquiry, 44(3), pp. 814-821. (doi: 10.1017/lsi.2019.33)

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In this Review Essay, I try to rise to one of the challenges that Goodman, Page, and Phelps pose to other scholars in their book, Breaking the Pendulum (2017). They invite us to explore whether and how well their “agonistic perspective” on penal change travels. In response, I draw on original archival and oral history research on probation history in Scotland to explore their model’s utility in the context of this particular and challenging test case. Although Scotland is often discussed as an anomaly because of a supposed consensus around an enduring commitment to penal welfarism, my analysis reveals precisely the kinds of contestation that Goodman, Page, and Phelps describe. I conclude that their agonistic perspective seems to travel well, at least to this Atlantic edge of Europe, but that scholars in other jurisdictions will need either to undertake or revisit primary research to properly test the model and further refine it.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:McNeill, Professor Fergus
Authors: McNeill, F.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Journal Name:Law and Social Enquiry
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
ISSN (Online):1747-4469
Published Online:18 July 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 American Bar Foundation
First Published:First published in Law and Social Enquiry 44(3): 814-821
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons licence

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