Good Society Symposium on "Democratic Theory and Mass Incarceration" alb ert w. dzu r The United States is the "world champion" in incarceration, to borrow Nils Christie's words, and United Kingdom jurisdictions, though some distance behind, are persistently among the European countries with the highest per capita rates of imprisonment.1 Yet Anglo-American political theory has hardly registered mass incarceration and has done little to analyze any incongruity with core democratic commitments. This disconnection is puzzling, first, because of the powerful lines of argument present within progressive, liberal, and conservative traditions alike which draw limits to state coercion and demand strict scrutiny over threats to individual rights, human development, and civic dignity posed by institutionalized exclusion and stigmatization. It is puzzling, second, because of the available links to robust and sophisticated theoretical discussions within criminology by David Garland, Jonathan Simon, Ian Loader and Richard Sparks, just to name a few scholars, on the state, citizen action, and the efficacy of punishment; this thriving discourse has found a congenial home in journals such as Punishment & Society and Theoretical Criminology. It is puzzling, third, because of the common ground occupied by restorative justice advocates and political theorists concerned with deliberative
The Good Society – Penn State University Press
Published: Jul 10, 2014
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