Introduction. The political mobilisation of criminal law and its resistance in the Global South




Law and politics, Global South, state violence, minorities, Derecho y política, Sur Global, violencia estatal, minorías


The articles presented in this special issue explore the relationship between politics and law in the context of the Global South. While some of the contributions examined this relationship through the symbolic power of the law, others focused on how violence is embedded into the relationship between law and politics. The first group, which focused on the symbolic dimension of power relations, dug into struggles to either accommodate political projects into the existing law or whenever such interpretation was not possible, to propose new legislation consistent with those political goals. Meanwhile, the other group of contributions, those who paid special attention to the association between law and violence, described how the relationship between politics and law is centred disputed legitimacy of law in those societies. This introduction discusses how these two approaches complement each other and offer us a better understanding of the particular role law plays in societies in the Global South.

Los artículos reunidos en este número especial exploran la relación entre política y la ley en el contexto del Sur Global. Mientras que algunas de las contribuciones examinaron esta relación a través del poder simbólico de la ley, otras se centraron en cómo la violencia está incrustada en la relación entre la ley y la política. El primer grupo de artículos, que se centró en la dimensión simbólica del poder, profundizo su análisis en luchas para lograr canalizar proyectos políticos en la ley existente o, cuando tal interpretación no era posible, para proponer una nueva legislación coherente con esos objetivos políticos. El otro grupo de contribuciones a este número especial, aquel que examino el lugar que ocupa la violencia en el derecho, dirigió su mirada a la disputa de legitimidad del derecho en sociedades periféricas. Esta introducción analiza cómo estos dos enfoques se complementan entre sí y nos ofrecen una mejor comprensión del papel particular que desempeña el derecho en las sociedades del Sur Global.


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Author Biography

George Radics, National University of Singapore

George B. Radics, National University of Singapore, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, 3 Arts Link, AS1 04/28, Singapore 117573, email address:, Dr. George Radics currently teaches courses on Law and Society, Selected Topics in Law and Justice, Social Thought and Social Theory, and Sociology of Emotions. He holds a joint appointment with NUS College and is the Convenor of the Global Studies Programme (2023-2025).


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Atiles, J., 2024. Anti-corruption legislation in Puerto Rico: A sociolegal study of the registry of persons convicted of corruption. Oñati Socio-Legal Series [online], 14(1-this issue). Available at: DOI:

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Chua, L.J., and Radics, G.B., 2021. Stigmatisation, identities and the law: Asian and comparative perspectives. International Journal of Law in Context [online], 17(3), pp. 281–283. Available at: DOI:

Ciocchini, P., 2024. Law, violence, and hegemony during the “war on drugs” on the Philippines. Oñati Socio-Legal Series [online], 14(1-this issue). Available at:

Ciocchini, P., and Kostenwein, E., 2017. Presentación del dossier Estudios actuales sobre la justicia penal. Derecho y Ciencias Sociales [online], 17, pp. 1-8. Available at: DOI:

Ciocchini, P., and Radics, G., eds., 2019. Criminal Legalities in the Global South: Cultural Dynamics, Political Tensions, and Institutional Practices. London: Routledge. DOI:

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How to Cite

Ciocchini, P. L. and Radics, G. (2024) “Introduction. The political mobilisation of criminal law and its resistance in the Global South”, Oñati Socio-Legal Series, 14(1), pp. 1–8. doi: 10.35295/osls.iisl.1987.