Vanessa Barker is Assistant Professor of Criminology at Florida State University. She received her B.A. in English Literature from the University of California, Santa Barbara and her Ph.D. in Sociology from New York University. She teaches and writes in the sociology of law, the comparative study of penal sanctions, historical sociology of crime policy, and political sociology. Her research on the politics of punishing in the American states has been published in Punishment and Society, reprinted in the International Library of Essays in Law and Society, and has received awards from the Law and Society Association and the Political Sociology section of the American Sociological Association. Her recent work on crime victims movements, "The Politics of Pain," will be published in Law & Society Review. At Princeton, she is completing a book manuscript on American penal regimes and the democratic process. She is also starting a new project on comparative penal sanctions in Europe. She will examine the extent to which Sweden and the UK use the criminal law and penal sanctions in response to increased immigration, pressures of European integration, and crime. She will investigate how and why these responses are shaped by culturally distinct legal traditions and political institutions as well as by global trends.
Barker, Vanessa. Forthcoming. "The Politics of Pain: A Political Institutionalist Analysis of Crime Victims' Moral Protests." Law & Society Review 41.
Barker, Vanessa 2006. "The Politics of Punishing: Building a State Governance Theory of American Imprisonment Variation." Punishment & Society 8 (1): 5-33.