26th July 2010

It is often said that contemporary liberal democracies such as Britain and the USA face a crisis of over-criminalization: too much conduct is criminalized, too hastily, without adequate thought about the aims it should serve. The result is a disorganized, unprincipled criminal law, which subjects too many people to the threat of arrest and punishment. But normative theorists of criminal law, who have made major advances in systematic work on such issues as punishment and criminal responsibility, have made comparatively little systematic progress on this problem. The Criminalization Project, an AHRC-funded project involving researchers from the Universities of Stirling, Glasgow, Warwick and York aims to remedy this lack, by bringing together philosophers, lawyers and political scientists to discuss the various dimensions of the problem of criminalization.

For details of the project, which runs from 2008—2012, see http://www.philosophy.stir.ac.uk/criminalization/crim-homepage.php.

The project will culminate in a major international conference at the University of Stirling on 7-9 September 2011, with plenary papers from—
•    Tony Bottoms (Cambridge)
•    Jeremy Horder (King’s College London)
•    Douglas Husak (Rutgers)
•    Michael Moore (Illinois)
•    Philip Pettit (Princeton)
•    Loïc Wacquant (Berkeley)

Proposals are now invited for submitted papers on aspects of the general conference theme. Possible topics include, but are not limited to—
•    principles of criminalization;
•    the relationship between criminal law and non-criminal modes of regulation;
•    the structure of crime;
•    the relationship between criminal law and political theory;
•    criminal law and human rights;
•    international and transnational criminal law;
•    conceptions of criminal responsibility;

Those who wish to submit a paper should send an abstract of no more than 500 words by email to Criminalization@stir.ac.uk by 17 September 2010. Decisions about which proposals to accept should be communicated to authors by 1 December 2010.

Some of the submitted papers from the conference may be collected in a volume with Oxford University Press or in a special issue of a journal. Those submitting proposals should indicate whether they wish their papers to be considered for publication.

It is possible, but by no means certain, that some financial assistance towards the costs of accommodation and travel will be available to those whose papers are accepted.

All inquiries should be directed to: Criminalization@stir.ac.uk.