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Louise is a sociologist of punishment, and her research focuses on the political and cultural dynamics of incarceration.

She is the author of “The Politics of Punishment”, which is a comparative study of penal politics and imprisonment in Ireland and Scotland at the end of the twentieth century. She has an edited volume on the “Histories of Punishment and Social Control in Ireland” (with Deirdre Healy and Lynsey Black).

She has been the recipient of the Brian Williams Best Article Prize (2020), Theoretical Criminology Best Article Prize (2021) and of a Fulbright scholarship (2015). In 2023, Louise was named as one of the BBC/AHRC’s New Generation Thinkers, who are ‘ten of the UK’s most promising arts and humanities early career researchers’.

In 2021 she is beginning a 3-year ESRC funded study, “Mass Decarceration: A critical social history”. This focuses on Ireland’s system of Magdalene Laundries and Mother Baby Homes, exploring how these institutions, once used on a mass scale, came to an end.

Recent publications
Brangan, L. (2021) The Politics of Punishment : a comparative study of imprisonment and political culture, Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.
Black, L., Brangan, L. and Healy, D. (2022) Histories of Punishment and Social Control in Ireland: Perspectives from a periphery, Emerald.

Brangan, L., 2021. Pastoral penality in 1970s Ireland: Addressing the pains of imprisonment. Theoretical criminology, 25(1), pp.44–65.
Brangan, L., 2020. Exceptional states: The political geography of comparative penology. Punishment & society, 22(5), pp.596–616.
Brangan, L., 2019. Civilizing Imprisonment: The Limits of Scottish Penal Exceptionalism. British journal of criminology, 59(4), pp.780–799.



University of Strathclyde

Research Themes

Punishment, Citizenship and Communities

Research Methods and Criminological Theory

The Politics of Imprisonment

The Handbook on Prisons, Second edition is a key text for students taking courses in prisons, penology, criminal justice, criminology and related […]

No Projects Available

31st March 2021

New research will look at demise of Mother and Baby Homes & Magdalene Laundries


31st March 2021

Mass Decarceration: A critical social history

29th February 2016

SCCJR academics contribute to Handbook on Prisons

British Society of Criminology 2024 – Glasgow

10th July 2024

University of Strathclyde

Comparative Punishment and Political Culture – Dr Louise Brangan

28th April 2022



SCCJR Workshop: Writing for Academics

9th May 2022


University of Strathclyde, Room TBC

SCCJR Seminar: Dr Louise Brangan The Politics of Punishment

25th November 2021