Normative work in punishment theory has typically focused on what one might call the ‘paradigmatic’ case of punishment: the case where a fully responsible wrongdoer has one of a standard catalogue of penalties – including deprivation of liberty, monetary fines and in some cases death – inflicted on them after due process by a legitimate (and most often liberal and democratic) state of which they are a citizen. There are obviously good reasons to focus on the paradigmatic case: if we are unable to give a convincing account of how the practice of punishment is to be justified here, then it is difficult to see how existing punitive institutions could be justified at all.
However, actual practices of punishment go beyond the paradigmatic case in various respects, many of which seem to call for further and deeper investigation. This panel seeks normative, theoretical and empirically informed contributions which will help to advance our understanding of instances of punishment where the punishing authority, the recipient of punishment, or the form of punishment does not fit the model of the paradigmatic case. Cases of this sort are significant for several reasons. First, many of them are of considerable interest in their own right. Secondly, an examination of the normative dimensions of non-paradigmatic forms of punishment promises to shed light on the paradigmatic case of punishment, and thence on our understanding of punishment as a whole. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly they seem likely to comprise between them a large majority of actual cases of punishment. So a normative account which neglects them will have little to say.
We are especially interested in the following kinds of cases: i) those where the punishing authority is not a liberal and democratic state, either because it fails to be liberal or democratic, or because it is not a state at all: for example the cases of punishments imposed by international tribunals, by the international community as a whole, and also by non-state like communities such as schools and religious communities; ii) cases where the recipient of punishment is someone or something other than a fully responsible agent and citizen: for example, cases of the punishment of resident foreigners, minors, individuals suffering from certain kinds of mental illness, and collective agents; and iii) forms of punishment which are common in practice though rarely discussed in the philosophical literature, such as parole and community service, as well as a variety of less familiar forms of punishment including exile, disenfranchisement and corporal punishment, and technologically enhanced versions of familiar forms of punishment. Papers which reflect on – or which might prompt reflection on – policy implications of the issues they discuss will be particularly welcome, though an emphasis on policy will not be a prerequisite.