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Article: The culture of revenge and the power of politics: A comparative attempt to explain the punitive

TitleThe culture of revenge and the power of politics: A comparative attempt to explain the punitive
Authors
KeywordsCulture
Power
Punishment
Punitive norms
Social attitudes
Issue Date2008
Citation
Journal Of Political Power, 2008, v. 1 n. 2, p. 169-187 How to Cite?
AbstractIn this article, it is argued that punitive attitudes or 'norms of harshness' are more plausibly linked to various degrees of power than they are to culture. The People's Republic of China today executes several times more people than the rest of the world combined. It has become somewhat of a truism in China, and accepted outside, that this is due to special Chinese cultural conditions. However, upon close scrutiny, the arguments for this hypothesis are found wanting. In the final instance, it is not culture but political power that dominates the Chinese affinity towards harshness. Punitive norms tend to be fairly short-term and changeable, which goes against the idea of 'deeply rooted retributive culture'. The so-called 'national conditions of revenge' is frequently manipulated, as is shown by survey data proving the alleged 'people's revenge' to have stronger elite than popular support. Harshness has simply become a norm of political elites. Punitive culture should be seen against a background of a changeable repertoire of possibilities. It is the power of politics, not the inertia of revengeful culture that holds back the modernization of Chinese penal sentiments, attitudes, and - hopefully - practices. © 2008 Taylor & Francis.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/59836
ISSN
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 0.428
References

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorBakken, Ben_HK
dc.date.accessioned2010-05-31T03:58:22Z-
dc.date.available2010-05-31T03:58:22Z-
dc.date.issued2008en_HK
dc.identifier.citationJournal Of Political Power, 2008, v. 1 n. 2, p. 169-187en_HK
dc.identifier.issn2158-379Xen_HK
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/59836-
dc.description.abstractIn this article, it is argued that punitive attitudes or 'norms of harshness' are more plausibly linked to various degrees of power than they are to culture. The People's Republic of China today executes several times more people than the rest of the world combined. It has become somewhat of a truism in China, and accepted outside, that this is due to special Chinese cultural conditions. However, upon close scrutiny, the arguments for this hypothesis are found wanting. In the final instance, it is not culture but political power that dominates the Chinese affinity towards harshness. Punitive norms tend to be fairly short-term and changeable, which goes against the idea of 'deeply rooted retributive culture'. The so-called 'national conditions of revenge' is frequently manipulated, as is shown by survey data proving the alleged 'people's revenge' to have stronger elite than popular support. Harshness has simply become a norm of political elites. Punitive culture should be seen against a background of a changeable repertoire of possibilities. It is the power of politics, not the inertia of revengeful culture that holds back the modernization of Chinese penal sentiments, attitudes, and - hopefully - practices. © 2008 Taylor & Francis.en_HK
dc.languageengen_HK
dc.relation.ispartofJournal of Political Poweren_HK
dc.subjectCultureen_HK
dc.subjectPoweren_HK
dc.subjectPunishmenten_HK
dc.subjectPunitive normsen_HK
dc.subjectSocial attitudesen_HK
dc.titleThe culture of revenge and the power of politics: A comparative attempt to explain the punitiveen_HK
dc.typeArticleen_HK
dc.identifier.emailBakken, B: bakken@hku.hken_HK
dc.identifier.authorityBakken, B=rp00616en_HK
dc.description.naturelink_to_subscribed_fulltext-
dc.identifier.doi10.1080/17540290802227585en_HK
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-74849097452en_HK
dc.identifier.hkuros150431en_HK
dc.relation.referenceshttp://www.scopus.com/mlt/select.url?eid=2-s2.0-74849097452&selection=ref&src=s&origin=recordpageen_HK
dc.identifier.volume1en_HK
dc.identifier.issue2en_HK
dc.identifier.spage169en_HK
dc.identifier.epage187en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridBakken, B=6603543706en_HK

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