Abstract and Keywords
Some of the most promising work on mass incarceration, the retributive turn in penal policy, and growing inequalities in the United States employs a historical institutional lens. This work has illuminated the origins of the carceral state and the possibilities for dismantling it, the sources of interstate and cross-national variations in penal policy, and the role of race, gender, and the transformation of the welfare state in the construction of the carceral state. Going forward, illumination of pressing political problems like the carceral state will require that historical institutionalism retain or resurrect some of the qualities that originally made it so distinctive—even if that cuts against the grain of the wider discipline of political science.
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