‘Govemmentality’ and the problem of crime

David Garland

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    This chapter discusses the usefulness of the governmentality approach in opening up new ways of understanding the discourses, problems and practices of contemporary crime control. It considers some of the limitations and problems of this framework and argues, against some of its proponents, that an engagement with sociological analysis would allow governmentality studies to overcome some of these limitations. The governmentality literature does not offer a general thesis that can be ‘applied’ to the field of crime control. The practices that make up the field of crime control may be structured by governmental rationalities but, in its detailed configuration, with all its incoherence and contradictions, the field is also a product of a rather more aleatory history of political manoeuvres and calculations. The idea of ‘rationalities of rule’ - and the analysis of the ways of thinking and acting that they entail - is a major contribution of the Foucauldian approach, and has already produced a corpus of substantive research.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationGovernable Places
    Subtitle of host publicationReadings on Governmentality and Crime Control
    PublisherTaylor and Francis
    Number of pages29
    ISBN (Electronic)9780429763014
    ISBN (Print)9781138385283
    StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Social Sciences


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