In this course we will look at theories of crime and punishment through various Italian theorists and conventions, both contemporary and historical. We will examine different systems of justice, from institutionalized courts to the ‘extra-state’ methods of the mafia. With an aim to understand better answers to the question -- what constitutes a just reaction to a crime committed? -- we will explore ideas of prominent thinkers from a range of disciplines across a wide expanse of time. For instance, does justice demand revenge and retribution? Alternatively, does it require forgiveness and mercy? And who should decide -- the victim or his/her family? A neutral judge? The state? These questions and others will bring us in contact with classical thinkers such as Beccaria, contemporary historians writing on the mafia, such as Salvatore Lupo, and others.
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