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Great Expectations: Sharing Confidences in EU Criminal Justice

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image of European Journal of Crime, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice

This paper considers the evolution of the European Union’s criminal justice competence using the analytical motif of “confidence”. In order to explain why this approach was chosen the first part describes three confidence “vignettes” –situations or senses in which “confidence” forms a key part of the narrative of the Union’s criminal justice development. Picking up upon the renaissance of interest among social scientists in the study of emotions, the paper then outlines the account of ‘Action and confidence’ that was provided by the sociologist Jack Barbalet, in the context of his seminal work, Emotion, Social Theory, and Social Structure. This is then used to provide a series of reflections on the role of confidence (and emotion more generally) in relation to the Union’s emergence as a criminal justice actor and, in turn, also on Barbalet’s account.

Affiliations: 1: Leicester De Montfort Law School, De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester LE1 9BH, UK,


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