The U.S. and Western Europe have during recent decades experienced a transformation in the perception of issues of crime, punishment and public safety. This transformation has come to be labelled “the punitive turn,” manifested through increased imprisonment rates, harsher and retributive penalties, and a populist public discourse. These are trends which criminologist have referred to as “penal populism” or a new “culture of control,” marking the end of the penal-welfare era, dominated by welfare and social policies. International scholars have, however, argued that the Scandinavian countries have resisted these trends, due to the holding of unique egalitarian and inclusionary characteristics. These perceptions have given rise to a number of studies on Scandinavian resistance to penal excess, where the Scandinavian penal exceptionalism thesis, developed by John Pratt, has provoked and reinforced extensive discussion on the Nordic penal landscape. However, these claims have been challenged by Nordic scholars, who argue that the forces which have led to penal excess in other modern societies now have been observed in a Scandinavian context. This study explored the case of Norway, through an evaluation of the Norwegian penal debate. It addressed the rhetoric and attitudes applied to issues of crime and punishment, through an empirical analysis of a selection of Norwegian penal debates occurring between 2008 and 2019. Drawing on the theoretical framework of the potentially conflicting theories of Scandinavian penal exceptionalism and penal populism, the thesis explored the assumption of Norwegian resistance to the punitive penal culture deriving from the U.S, now spreading across Western Europe. Based on the three most common attributes to penal populism identified by key scholars: “the politicisation of penal populist discourse”, “the changing objectives of punishment” and “an emotional-oriented penal policy,” the thesis attempted to disclose the prevalence of these trends in the Norwegian penal debate between 2008 and 2019, in order to disclose change over time. The findings suggested that penal populism in the Norwegian penal debate has not been successfully countered by the existence of a so-called egalitarian welfare state, despite strong arguments for Scandinavian resistance to penal excess in international comparative criminology and welfare research. It was argued that the issues of crime and punishment has become politicised for political gain; that retribution has come to be prioritised before correctional measures; and that there has been a rearrangement in the roles and influence of the key stakeholders to criminal justice policy, as the political climate is changing from rational to emotional. However, it was argued that the Norwegian penal debate has adopted a passive approach to penal populism, where a gradual and passive politicisation and intensification of penal policy was evident in the empirical data. The thesis thereby argued that the Norwegian penal debate has come to be at least partially influenced by trends of penal populism, as the phenomenon indeed was a visible force in the debates tackling contemporary penal issues. However, it noted that the prevalence of penal populism in a Norwegian context is moderate, as well as far less extreme in comparison with the tendencies of penal excess observed by several scholars in the Anglophone societies. It was thereby suggested that the characteristics of the Norwegian society might have facilitated a slow-paced transformation. On the one hand, this implies that the unique features of this society indeed have lessened the receptiveness to penal excess. On the other, it also proposes that the argument of Scandinavian resistance to penal excess is understated accounting for the Norwegian penal debate in 2019. The thesis did, however, highlight the distinction between talk (penal debate, rhetoric) and action (implementation of penal reforms, change of legislation). Although it suggested that several trends of penal populism were evident in a Norwegian context, it did so based on political rhetoric in the official discourse. Recommendations were therefore made to investigate the implementation of concrete legislation and reforms, to further explore the prominence of penal populism in a Norwegian context, as well as to disclose whether the tendencies as disclosed are “just talk” or put into action.