ABSTRACT

In this chapter, we subject the claims for penal exceptionalism in Scandinavia made in Pratt (2008a, b) to self-criticism and review. We thus examine the methodology on which these were based; the reliance on English commentaries rather than untranslated Scandinavian documents; the explanations of exceptionalism that were put forward; its social costs; and the extent to which Scandinavian exceptionalism is now in the process of being undermined by a Scandinavian ‘culture of control’. While acknowledging the need for some adjustments and refinements as a consequence of these interrogations, the chapter ultimately validates and reaffirms the Scandinavian exceptionalism thesis.