The Crisis of Institutions and Penal Mediation: French and Spanish Experiences


The age of globalization, in its second and third phase (the second one already ended within the twentieth century) – which witnesses the full deployment of the productive and commercial potentialities of humanity – breaks the “boundaries” of the relationship between individual and institutions. In addition, these epochal circumstances spread a feeling of “disorientation” fueled, in turn, by the widespread complexity of heterogeneous and sometimes contradictory values.  In individualistic societies, the collective forms of control must give way to individual and individualized forms, which impact on the individual. Often, the latter are tools that exist or are born within the social context, which are disconnected from the institutional network and aimed at helping people to manage the relational conflicts that enmesh them. In this context, mediation – precisely because it is born as experience and social practice and constitutes an adequate response to the needs of the individual – can represent a new (at least for the law) and different modality of conflict regulation. This alternative modality allows institutions to move closer to the individual, recovering the dual capacity and function of promoting individual liberties and guaranteeing social order.  This research focuses on penal mediation, starting from the origin of the idea of community mediation, to get to the analysis of cases of penal mediation in France and in Spain. The main idea is that mediation can be used in all the systems in which the conflictual dynamics are manifested and that sometimes it is institutionalized for further and different purposes.

Article history

Received 15 June 2022. Revised 07 July 2022. Accepted 08 July 2022. Published online 12 July 2022




English (en)


Giovanna PalermoUniversity of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli in Caserta, Italy


Orbis Idearum Volume 10, Issue 1 (2022), 27-45
Orbis Idearum