Introduction: American exceptionalism in crime and punishment: Broadly defined

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingForeword/postscript

1 Scopus citations


This introductory chapter is a primer on American exceptionalism in crime and punishment (AECP). In the mid- and late twentieth century, the United States diverged markedly from other Western nations first in its high rates of serious violent crime and soon after in the severity of its governmental responses. This has left an appalling legacy of AECP for the new century. The chapter expands on the scholarship in this field first by providing a brief tour of well-known AECP subject areas: incarceration and the death penalty. Next, it introduces claims that a wider menu of punishments should be included in AECP analyses, including probation supervision, parole release and supervision, economic penalties, and collateral consequences of conviction. To conclude, the chapter speaks to the importance of late twentieth-century crime rates to US punitive expansionism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAmerican Exceptionalism in Crime and Punishment
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages49
ISBN (Electronic)9780190203559
ISBN (Print)9780190203542
StatePublished - Dec 21 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Oxford University Press 2018. All rights reserved.


  • AECP
  • AECP analysis
  • Crime rates
  • Death penalty
  • Incarceration
  • Sanction types
  • US punitive expansionism
  • Violent crime


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