chapter  18
15 Pages

Lombroso but not Lombrosians? Criminal anthropology in Spain

WithSpain Ricardo Campos, Rafael Huertas

The influence of the work of Cesare Lombroso first became apparent in Spain in the early 1880s. It spread quickly and, in very little time, became popular in scientific, legal, journalistic and cultural fields across the country until it reached its ‘moment of maximum discussion and timeliness’ (Maristany 1983, 362) in 1985. However, the rapid spread of Lombroso’s doctrines did not lead to the formation of a group of orthodox followers or the creation of a Spanish school of criminology, like the Italian one. In Spain, Lombroso’s ideas were turned around and provoked more social, scientific and cultural debate on the figure of the criminal rather than the creator of a school of criminology. For almost two decades, the works of Lombroso, Ferri, Garofalo and other representatives of the Scuola Nuova were translated, reviewed and discussed, without any real Lombrosian trend developing, strictly speaking. Italian criminal anthropology talked and wrote about numerous issues related to the great sense of unease felt by Spanish society at the end of the century in order to repress anarchism, justify crime prevention policies and extend the application of the concept of social danger to new individuals and groups.