Over the past few decades, most societies have become more repressive, their laws more relentless, their magistrates more inflexible, independently of the evolution of crime. In this book, using an approach both genealogical and ethnographic, distinguished anthropologist Didier Fassin addresses the major issues raised by this punitive moment through an inquiry into the very foundations of punishment. What is punishment? Why punish? Who is punished? With these three questions he initiates a critical dialogue with moral philosophy and legal theory on the definition, justification, and distribution of punishment. Going against the triumphing penal populism, this investigation, based on ten years of empirical research on police, justice, and prison systems, proposes a salutary revision of the presuppositions that nourish the passion for punishing and invites readers to rethink the place of punishment in the contemporary world. The theses developed in the volume are discussed by the criminologist David Garland, the historian Rebecca McLennan, and the sociologist Bruce Western, to whom Fassin responds in a short essay, asking, What is a critique of punishment?.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Publisher||Oxford University Press|
|Number of pages||194|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2018|
- Moral economy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities(all)