Argentina’s Criminal Law Migrations: Translation, Struggle, and Innovation 1880–1955

Webinar Presentation

Professor Máximo Sozzo: 21 September 2021 // 15.00 CET 

The Argentine reception of positivist ideas was extraordinary, giving rise to a profusion of intellectual outputs particularly between the 1880s and 1930s. This was unlike the rest of Latin America. The present research project developed by Sozzo and Núñez aims at contributing to the understanding of this metamorphasis of knowledge, with an emphasis on how the circulation of ideas across national borders played a role in them. The traditional view of the processs of importing ideas on crime and punishment focuses on developments from the North to the South, assumes the dependence of peripheral contexts on central contexts, and tends to present these processes as mere adoptions. This prevents the observation of the dynamics of adaptation and rejection that are also involved in these processes and in the framework of which, in some cases, significant innovations are generated by local authors in relation to local problems and contexts. In contrast, this research intends to restore this complexity to the journeys from North to South — between different European scenarios and the Argentine scenario — of the question of crime during this period. This operation does not prevent us from recognizing the centrality of dependence but implies understanding it as a less simple process than has often been thought in this area of research.

Máximo Sozzo is Professor of Sociology and Criminology at the Universidad Nacional del Litoral (Santa Fe, Argentina). He is also there Director of the Master in Criminology and Director of the Crime and Society Program. He is Adjunct Professor of the School of Justice at Queensland University of Techonology (Brisbane, Australia). He is the Coordinator of the GT  (2016-2019): “Penal System and Social Change” of the Latin American Council of Social Sciences.

Discussants: Jorge A. Núñez and Agustín Casagrande

Jorge A. Núñez is an assistant researcher at CONICET (Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas, Argentina) and professor of Argentine Social History at the University of Buenos Aires. His research topic is prison reform in Argentina in the 20th century. He is co-director, together with José Daniel Cesano, of the Revista de Historia de las Prisiones and the Colección Criminología Argentina.

Agustín Casagrande  is an affiliate resesarcher at MPI-Frankfurt and assists in the coordination of the Max Planck Law Forum Latin America.

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