Imagination in the Criminal Justice System of Argentina

12. January 2022 - 12:30


In criminal trials, rational methods are used to reconstruct the circumstances of a conflict and to ascertain a factual truth that makes it possible to reach a verdict. Using the example of trial in an Argentina criminal court, I will show how employees of the justice system accompany this reaching of a verdict with their own assumptions, speculations and imaginations about the unknowns of the circumstance of the conflict and the involved persons. Although these imaginings are not relevant neither for the investigation nor the sentencing, it is astonishing to learn that employees devote a lot of time, enthusiasm and zeal to it in their daily work. In this lecture, I will explore the questions of why these imaginaries are invoked, how they are shaped, what images of society underlie them, and where certain patterns of imagining stem from. In doing so, I would like to draw attention to the everyday practices of imagination and stimulate discussion about the meanings and effects of social imaginaries in the criminal justice system.


In 2016, the Arnold Bergstraesser Institute (ABI) has launched the ALMA research series in cooperation with Freiburg University. The research series aims at interconnecting research interests from different parts of the university and affiliated institutes. ALMA places particular emphasis on interdisciplinarity: a feature that is also evident in the discussion format, which includes presenters and discussants from different disciplinary backgrounds. The overall focus lies on empirical-comparative analyses of socio-political phenomena in extra-European areas and societies. The main target group of the ALMA series includes social sciences and humanities scholars that are currently pursuing a PhD and/or pursuing advanced/postdoctoral research projects.

The lectures take place on Thursdays from 12.30 pm to 2 pm CET  - three times during term. Please register for participation via zoom (name, first name, email address; at the bottom). You will receive a zoom link for participation. By participating in the zoom meeting, you agree to the data protection notice (more). When participating on site at the institute, we ask that you observe the current Corona regulations of the state of Baden-Württemberg and the federal government.

Foto: tingey-injury-law-firm, unsplash

Imagination in the Criminal Justice System of Argentina