«FAMILIES OF NATIONS, VICTIMISATION AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS CRIMINAL JUSTICE PAUL A. NORRIS* School of Social and Political Science, University of ...»
The usefulness of Esping-Andersen's typology for understanding crime and justice is also considered by Smit et al. (2008). Their work varies from that of Cavadino and Dignan because it considers many different aspects of crime and justice (victimisation, recorded crime, convictions, prison use amongst others).
Considering a sample of 44 countries drawn from North America, Oceania, Western, Central and Eastern Europe and using categorical principal component analysis the authors identify clusters of countries which can be seen as broadly reflecting those suggested by welfare regime research. However, the overlap between the classifications for criminal justice and those concerned with welfare is far from absolute. Most notably, while welfare research often draws a distinction between Scandinavian nations, the countries of Western Europe and Anglo-Saxon nations these were found to represent a single cluster in the work of Smit et al.
THE 'FAMILIES OF NATIONS' TYPOLOGY AND THE LINK
BETWEEN WELFARE REGIMES AND CRIMINAL JUSTICEThe concept of Families of Nations was first suggested by Castles, Smit and Therborn (Castles, ed., 1993) and subsequently refined by Castles (1998).
Considering the twenty-one industrialised nations which are long-term members of the OECD, Castles (1998: pp. 8–9) argues it is possible to identify four distinct groupings of countries (shown in Table 1).
These Families of Nations are 'defined in terms of shared geographical, linguistic, cultural and/or historical attributes [which lead] to distinctive patterns of public policy outcomes' (Castles, 1993: p. xiii). This consideration of historical factors alongside more recent social, economic and political influences marks a distinction between this approach and many of the other typologies developed in social policy. The broader range of issues considered when developing this typology could be expected to make it applicable to a wider range of policy areas compared to those typologies which have been developed with reference to specific areas of welfare policy. Given the expectation that policy mechanisms and outcomes will be influenced by longstanding differences between nations, it is little surprise that there is a strong overlap between the Families of Nations typology and many of the others considered within social policy. For instance, the 'English-Speaking' cluster in Table 1 involves nations which would be classified as liberal welfare regimes in Esping-Andersen's typology. While much existing research using the Families of Nations typology has focused on public policy, the clusters suggested have, not surprisingly, been found to explain individual level social outcomes which are influenced by historical, cultural, political and economic context. For example, Castles and Flood (1993) show that differences in divorce rates across OECD nations vary in a systematic way across the typology. This lends weight to the expectation that the groupings suggested by the Families of Nations typology may provide a useful starting point for clustering countries based on their populations' responses to the ICVS, even though these responses refer to individual experiences and attitudes rather than criminal justice policy.
TABLE 1 'Families of Nations' Identified by Castles (1998)
The English-Speaking Family is defined by its historical ties to Great Britain which see these countries share common language, political and legal traditions.
There are also substantial cultural similarities between these nations, especially if they are sub-divided into European, New World and Antipodean groupings.
With regards to welfare provision these countries are associated with low levels of public expenditure and a strong focus on self-reliance and market mechanisms. In their work considering the applicability of Esping-Andersen's typology to penal policy, Cavadino and Dignan (2006) indicate that this group of nations is associated with high rates of imprisonment. Cavadino and Dignan (2006: pp. 447–448) argue that the link between Neo-Liberal welfare states (as typifies those countries in the 'English-Speaking' family) and crime and justice is two-fold. Firstly, increased levels of inequality and a lack of social cohesion could have a direct effect on criminality and perceptions of justice. Welfare provision provides one way through which individuals can be tied into society and hence provides an effective tool for social control. Where welfare provision is less, these ties are weaker, and the potential benefits from crime may be greater for those who are disadvantaged. Secondly, it is possible that the apparent link between welfare policy and criminological outcomes reflects more general underlying characteristics. For instance, a focus on individualism may give rise to increasingly harsh attitudes around law and order (Garland, 2001).
In many ways, the Nordic nations can be considered the polar opposite of the English-Speaking cluster. Once again these countries share a common legal tradition and, excepting Finland, have strong linguistic ties. Their close geographical proximity means they have had strong cultural and policy links for a prolonged period of time. These countries generally have universal and generous welfare systems which result in societies which are broadly egalitarian and have low levels of social exclusion. Reflecting the possible links between welfare, crime, and criminal justice policy discussed in the previous paragraph, these nations are exemplified by low rates of imprisonment (Walmsley, 2005) and low public expenditure on maintaining public order (Norris, 2007).
In contrast to the previous two families, those countries which make up the 'Continental Europe' grouping are not linked by shared language. However, they do have a shared history dating back to dynastic times, strong cultural and religious similarities and a high degree of policy transfer amongst themselves (typified by how they were all founder members of the European Community in the mid 1950s). In many ways, the Continental Europe Family would appear to be a middle ground between the two families discussed above. While less universal than in Nordic countries, welfare provision in these nations is more inclusive and generous than in the 'English-Speaking' family. This results in societies which are typified by moderate levels of inequality and citizens having conditional social rights. Similarly, these countries appear to have moderately low levels of imprisonment (Cavadino and Dignan, 2006) and levels of public expenditure on law and order which are below those of the English-Speaking nations (Norris, 2007).
Those countries in the 'Southern European' family share cultural affinities dating back to ancient times and are strongly linked in terms of their late economic, social and political development due to periods of dictatorship in the mid 20th century. Within social policy, it has been argued that these countries represent a sub-group of the Continental Europe Family, distinguished only by their apparent need to 'catch-up' following their late move to democracy (Esping-Andersen, 1997; Katrougalos, 1996). However, accepting the argument that a country's experience of victimisation is often related to its level of economic and social development it seems reasonable to expect that any economic, social or political hang-over from their periods of dictatorship may lead these nations to exhibit unique patterns of victimisation. Similarly, it is possible that more recent experience of dictatorship may lead to individuals holding different views about the role of the police and criminal justice system within society.
Of the remaining two countries, Japan is essentially unique. It is the only country within the typology not to have historical links to Europe. It is geographically distinct from the other countries considered and has a distinctive language, history and culture. While Japan exhibits high per capital wealth and long-standing democracy, similar to the other countries considered, it has a strong cultural legacy from its links with Asia (Obinger and Wagschal, 2001: p.
100) which has resulted in a distinctive combination of social policies and outcomes. Japan often appears an outlier in terms of crime and justice with noticeably lower levels of crime and imprisonment than other jurisdictions considered in this article. The unique culture of Japan, in particular the focus on harmony, reciprocity and social obligation, is often cited as important in explaining issues around crime and justice (Leonardsen, 2004).
The decision to exclude Switzerland from the clusters identified is much less clear-cut. Castles (1998: p. 9) himself notes that given its history, language and the decentralised nature of its politics a case could be made for including Switzerland in a family of 'German Speaking Nations'. However, much Swiss public policy has deviated from that in the rest of continental Europe, possibly as a result of its highly federalised nature and use of direct democracy (Obinger and Wagschal, 2001: p. 100).
The outlier nature of Japan and Switzerland would appear to be supported by attempts to test the applicability of the Families of Nations typology to welfare policy via cluster analysis. In the work of Obinger and Wagschal (2001) and Castles and Obinger (2008) most countries appeared in clusters which were consistent with the typology outlined in Table 1, and these findings were robust to the use of different time periods and measures of social policy. In contrast, Japan and Switzerland seemed to demonstrate a lack of clarity around where they fit, regularly appearing on the periphery of clusters and switching clusters depending on which data were considered.
THE INTERNATIONAL CRIME VICTIM SURVEY AND THE
VARIABLES USED IN THIS ANALYSISThe range and scope of research in comparative criminology has been limited by the lack of comparable data. For example, officially recorded crime rates may be influenced, not just by differences in the level of crime but also by variations in the definitions used, citizens' propensity to report crime and the way in which the police record incidents reported to them.
The International Crime Victim Survey (ICVS), first developed in the late 1980s, is one attempt to overcome the difficulties of using official statistics as a basis for cross-national research. Since the first ICVS in 1989, four subsequent surveys have been conducted, covering not only industrialised countries but also developing nations and the transition nations of Eastern Europe. The most recent ICVS was conducted in 2004/05 and was the first survey to include all the industrialised nations which have proved the mainstay of research in other areas of comparative social policy (shown in Table 1). Therefore, the ICVS now provides data with appropriate coverage to investigate whether the groupings of countries apparent with reference to other policy areas are also present with regards to individuals' experiences of crime and justice.
The main strengths of the ICVS when comparing across industrialised nations are that for the most part it uses a consistent survey instrument, sampling strategy and method of survey administration in the different jurisdictions it covers. This means that any data collected should be less susceptible to the difficulties which undermine the use of recorded crime statistics for cross-national analysis. With regard to the issues considered in this paper, a further strength of the ICVS is that it covers several other topics beside victimisation. These questions, which cover both attitudinal issues and the practical steps individuals may take to respond to the threat of crime, provide an opportunity to consider whether the 'Families of Nations' typology is appropriate for conceptualising patterns across a range of criminal justice topics. It is however important to note that as the ICVS concentrates on individuals' experience of crime and attitudes towards criminal justice that it is these issues which are the focus of this analysis, rather than a focus on criminal justice policy (for instance the level of resources directed towards policing within a jurisdiction).
There is one salient difference between the sample considered in this article and those which have often been employed to study other areas of social policy.