Dubé, Richard

University of Ottawa
12 oct 2019 - 19 oct 2019

Richard Dubé holds a PhD. in sociology and is currently an associate professor in the Department of Criminology at the University of Ottawa (Canada). He is also a member of the Canada Research Chair in Legal Traditions and Penal Rationality.

His main fields of interest are in the sociology of (criminal) law. His current research projetcs focus on the problem of the criminal justice system reform and the cognitive and structural challenges around penal innovations, the transformation of fundamental principles and the non responsiveness of the modern theories of punishment. His work has been published in peer reviewed journals such as Droit et Société, Déviance et Société, Champ Pénal and Les Cahiers de droit. He also co-edited Modernity in Transit (2009) and La rationalité pénale moderne: réflexions théoriques et explorations empiriques (2013).


I went to the Institute to benefit from the library’s rich literature in the sociology of law and to write in its inspiring environment. I spend the entire week with Max Weber, revisiting his sociology and his distinction between formal law and material law. Although a classic, I found very useful to go back to this distinction to re-problematize with fresh eyes the current challenges that formal law represents today in out Modern Societies, especially in the field of criminal law.  The Institute’s library also allowed me to go beyond Weber’s work and to discover new authors and theories on the same issue. 

I want to acknowledge the administrative personnel’s warm welcome and professional assistance through my stay at the institute. Thank you very much for everything you made possible for me over that week and prior to. The library is incredible, and you are part of the reasons why it is. So thank you.