New book: The Politics of the Death Penalty in Countries in Transition

Now published and available from Routledge here: The Politics of the Death Penalty in Countries in Transition (description below). I contributed with a chapter on the politics of the death penalty in Argentina (an early version is available here).


The increase in the number of countries that have abolished the death penalty since the end of the Second World War shows a steady trend towards worldwide abolition of capital punishment. This book focuses on the political and legal issues raised by the death penalty in “countries in transition”, understood as countries that have transitioned or are transitioning from conflict to peace, or from authoritarianism to democracy. In such countries, the politics that surround retaining or abolishing the death penalty are embedded in complex state-building processes.

In this context, Madoka Futamura and Nadia Bernaz bring together the work of leading researchers of international law, human rights, transitional justice, and international politics in order to explore the social, political and legal factors that shape decisions on the death penalty, whether this leads to its abolition, reinstatement or perpetuation.

Covering a diverse range of transitional processes in Asia, Africa, Latin America, Europe, and the Middle East, The Politics of the Death Penalty in Countries in Transition offers a broad evaluation of countries whose death penalty policies have rarely been studied. The book would be useful to human rights researchers and international lawyers, in demonstrating how transition and transformation, ‘provide the catalyst for several of interrelated developments of which one is the reduction and elimination of capital punishment’.


1. Introduction, Madoka Futamura and Nadia Bernaz 2. The Politics of the Death Penalty and Contexts of Transition: Democratization, Peacebuilding and Transitional Justice, Madoka Futamura 3. Democracy, Democratization and the Death Penalty, Christopher Hobson 4. Transitional Justice, Democratization and the Politics of the Death Penalty in Argentina, Par Engstrom 5. In Anticipation of ‘Liberal Democracy’: The Abolition of the Death Penalty in Cambodia, Nina H. B. Jørgensen 6. Death Penalty Moratorium in South Korea: Democratic Transition and Political Leadership, Sangmin Bae 7. The Death Penalty and Post-Conflict Peace-Building in the Balkans: The Case of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Nada Davi 8. The Death Penalty in Rwanda: Surrounding Politics and the ICTR’s Battle of Abolition, Aimé Muyoboke Karimunda 9. Politics of Death Penalty in Post-Conflict Sierra Leone: An Opportunity for Reform or a Missed Opportunity? Mohamed Suma 10. The Death Penalty and the Iraqi Transition: Observations on a Lost Opportunity, Michael A. Newton 11. Transitional Processes and the Death Penalty in North Africa, Amor Boubakri and Nadia Bernaz 12. Capital Punishment in a Time of Transition, William Schabas

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s