Where two ‘exceptional’ prison cultures meet: Negotiating order in a transnational prison

Alison Liebling, Berit Johnsen, Bethany Schmidt, Tore Rokkan, Kristel Beyens, Miranda Boone, Mieke Kox, An-Sofie Vanhouche

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
218 Downloads (Pure)


Can a prison in the Netherlands, that is neither ‘Dutch’ nor ‘Norwegian’, be ‘legitimate?’ What are the moral challenges? Our study of the controversial Norgerhaven project—a Norwegian prison located in the Netherlands—found that this ‘experiment’ generated one of the most reflexive, ‘deliberative’ prisons we have encountered. Officials involved in the decision assumed that the two jurisdictions were alike in their values. Few were prepared for the differences that arose. This hybrid prison made punishment, the use of authority, and the meanings of fairness, professionalism and discipline unusually explicit as staff negotiated their practices, creating a shift from ‘practical’ to ‘discursive’ consciousness and exposing many of the complexities of liberal penal power.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-60
Number of pages20
JournalBritish Journal of Criminology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021


  • transnational prison
  • Norway
  • the Netherlands


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