Vanessa Barker Stockholm University

Vanessa Barker


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Arbetar vid Sociologiska institutionen
Telefon 08-16 37 14
Besöksadress Universitetsvägen 10 B, plan 9
Rum B 930
Postadress Sociologiska institutionen 106 91 Stockholm

Om mig

Vanessa Barker is Docent and Associate Professor of Sociology at Stockholm University and Associate Director of Border Criminologies. Her research focuses on questions of democracy and penal order, the welfare state and border control, the criminalization and penalization of migrants, and the role of civil society in penal reform in the US. She is currently working on a book about the border closing in Sweden.  She works within a historical sociological tradition and teaches courses on qualitative methods, globalization, and ethnicity.  She was recently a visiting academic at the Centre for Criminology at the University of Oxford, supported in part by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond sabbatical award, and previously a visiting fellow at the Law & Public Affairs Program (LAPA) at Princeton University. She serves on the Board of Trustees for the Law & Society Association, as Co-editor for the Howard Journal of Crime & Justice, as book review editor for Punishment & Society, and on the board of Theoretical Criminology. She studied and worked in the US before moving to Sweden.


I urval från Stockholms universitets publikationsdatabas
  • 2017. Vanessa Barker. European Journal of Criminology 14 (1), 120-139

    In Sweden, control of the mobile poor is often driven by the needs and demands of the welfarestate itself and follows a different logic outside the neoliberal paradigm. By examining the caseof the Roma, EU citizens who travel to Sweden to ask for money on the streets, we can seethe expansion and retraction of the criminal law as the government responds to new forms ofmigration and poverty in its society. The government’s mixed responses – no to bans on begging,but yes to evictions – are the result of dualities inherent in Nordic welfare states, when theirinclusionary ameliorative dimensions collide with their exclusionary and nationalistic tendencies.This article proposes the term benevolent violence to conceptualize this duality. It occurs whencoercive means are used to uphold the state’s ameliorative goals and when the state’s ameliorativepractices have violent effects. In the case of the Roma, it means protecting them from their ownlivelihood and it means protecting the welfare state for nationals, keeping it solvent for members.

  • Vanessa Barker. Theoretical criminology

    Scandinavian penal regimes are Janus-faced: on one side relatively mild and benign; the other  intrusive, disciplining and oppressive. This paradox has not been fully grasped or explained by the Scandinavian Exceptionalism thesis which overstates the degree to which Scandinavian penal order is based on humaneness and social solidarity, an antidote to mass incarceration. This essay examines the split in the foundation of the Swedish welfare state: it simultaneously promotes individual well-being in the social sphere but enables intrusive deprivations of liberty and in some cases, violates the principles of human rights. The backbone the welfare state, Folkhemmet, the People’s Home, is at once demos, democratic and egalitarian and ethnos, a people by blood, exclusionary and essentialist. The lack of individual rights and an ethnocultural conception of citizenship make certain categories of people such as criminal offenders, criminal aliens, drug offenders, and other perceived outsiders particularly vulnerable to deprivations and exclusion.

  • 2017. Vanessa Barker. SAGE Handbook of Global Policing, 211-225
  • 2016. Vanessa Barker. Justice and Penal Reform:, 81-98
Visa alla publikationer av Vanessa Barker vid Stockholms universitet

Senast uppdaterad: 16 maj 2017

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