The study of punishment in the period 1750 -1950 provides a number of fruitful encounters with political and social theory, evolving legal doctrine and concurrent economic and social developments. It requires and imparts versatility and flexibility in the identification of core issues. Handling this and related material can supplement and enrich broader legal studies. Full of human interest and controversy, it is challenging, engrossing and illuminating. Debates range from theories such as moral agency and culpability, to varieties of determinism to consideration of the powers, prerogatives and duties of the state.
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