• THOMAS HOBBES without order, life would be nasty, brutish and short
  • EDMUND BURKE good order is the source of all good things
  • Order refers to tidy and regular patterns of social behaviour

Discipline and Control

  • Order imposed ‘from above’. Social order has to be imposed because it simply does not occur naturally
  • Negative view of humans – they are naturally corrupt, self-seeking and egotistical
  • HOBBES – humans have a relentless desire for ‘power after power’
  • Crime is a reflection of this human deficiency
  • Psychological grounds – people are drawn to security and safety (organic society)

Natural Harmony

  • Anarchists advocate the abolition of the state and all forms of political machinery, including law and order
  • Marxist socialists have also emphasised this utopian vision
  • They do not, however, reject the idea of order, but believe that it occurs spontaneously, regulated only by the natural goodwill of individuals
  • Human beings are not born corrupt, they are corrupted by society (Nature vs Nurture)
  • JEAN-JACQUES ROUSSEAU‘Man is born free but is everywhere in chains’
  • Socialists link crime and deprivation to private property – blame capitalism and selfish behaviour that it breeds
  • Such a view suggests that order can be improved by social reform and provision of housing rather than a fear of punishment
  • PETER KROPOTKIN crime is the result of idleness, law and authority
  • GODWIN ‘sound reason and truth’ would prevent conflict leading to disorder


Punishment involves the deliberate infliction of suffering on a supposed or actual offender for an offence such as moral or legal transgression.

Some punishment theorists prioritise ‘intrinsic good’ where something is naturally good, whereas some prefer the instrumental good of an outcome, whereby suffering pain inflicted but it is ultimately good for society.


  • Punishment for a wrong doing is a moral judgement.
  • Wrong-doers deserve to be punished
  • Retribution serves the purpose of demonstrating society’s repulsion toward the crime
  • Punishment should be proportional to the wrong done
  • IMMANUEL KANT society has ‘blood guilt’ on its hands if it does not punish a criminal


  • Uses punishment to shape future conduct by making people aware of the consequences of their actions
  • JEREMY BENTHAM ‘general prevention ought to be the chief end of punishment as it is its real justification’
  • Unlike retributive theory, deterrence does not point towards a specific form of punishment
  • Deterrence may be more severe than the outcome of the crime because it needs to put people off committing the crime
  • A fault of deterrence is that it assumes that criminals act rationally and weigh up the consequences of their actions before committing their crimes
  • CESARE BECCARIA‘punishments are unjust when their severity exceeds the needs to achieve deterrence’


  • The criminal is not viewed as someone morally evil, rather the criminal should be helped
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