For a ‘marginal criminological realism’: Zaffaroni and the birth of a critical perspective on the criminal question from the Global South

In this paper we address how in the birth of critical criminology in Latin America, one of its key architects, Eugenio Raúl Zaffaroni, poses in detail a problematisation that has acquired a very great centrality in the current debate: the hierarchy, asymmetry and dependency between the Global North and the Global South in the production of criminological knowledge, and offers ways to challenge the reproduction of this dynamic as a long-term phenomenon. His theoretical and political position in the 1980s, defined as a ‘marginal criminological realism’, anticipates a series of revealing points that we rediscover in the contemporary discussion. In this way, this paper seeks to avoid falling into an ‘amnesia’ by revitalising the historical exploration of the critical perspectives on the criminal question. In this exploration, we identify what constitutes, from our point of view, a firm foundation on which to build our own critical work from both a scientific and political point of view in Latin America and, more generally, in peripheral, marginal contexts.

Cita sugerida: Justice, Power and Resistance • vol XX • no XX • 1–19 • © Authors 2023 Online ISSN 2635-2338 • https://doi.org/10.1332/EFGH3919. Accepted for publication 16 January 2023 • First published online 10 February 2023

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