Democratic Theory and Mass Incarceration

ISBN : 9780190243098

Ian Loader; Richard Sparks
360 ページ
156 x 235 mm

The United States leads the world in incarceration, and the United Kingdom is persistently one of the European countries with the highest per capita rates of imprisonment. Yet despite its increasing visibility as a social issue, mass incarceration - and its inconsistency with core democratic ideals - rarely surfaces in contemporary Anglo-American political theory. Democratic Theory and Mass Incarceration seeks to overcome this puzzling disconnect by deepening the dialogue between democratic theory and punishment policy. This collection of original essays initiates a multi-disciplinary discussion among philosophers, political theorists, and criminologists regarding ways in which contemporary democratic theory might begin to think beyond mass incarceration. Rather than viewing punishment as a natural reaction to crime and imprisonment as a sensible outgrowth of this reaction, the volume argues that crime and punishment are institutions that reveal unmet demands for public oversight and democratic influence. Chapters explore theoretical paths towards de-carceration and alternatives to prison, suggest ways in which democratic theory can strengthen recent reform movements, and offer creative alternatives to mass incarceration. Democratic Theory and Mass Incarceration offers guideposts for critical thinking about incarceration, examining ways to rebuild crime control institutions and create a healthier, more just society.


Chapter 1: Punishment and Democratic Theory: Resources for a Better Penal Politics, Albert Dzur, Ian Loader and Richard Sparks
Chapter 2: Democratic Politics in an Age of Mass Incarceration, Rebecca U. Thorpe
Chapter 3: Civic Punishment, R. A. Duff and S. E. Marshall
Chapter 4: Playing Fair with Imprisonment, Richard Dagger
Chapter 5: A Democratic Theory of Imprisonment, Peter Ramsay
Chapter 6: Why Greater Public Participation in Criminal Justice?, Christopher Bennett
Chapter 7: Punitive Restoration: Giving the Public a Say on Sentencing, Thom Brooks
Chapter 8: After Penal Populism: Punishment, Democracy and Utopian Method, Lynne Copson
Chapter 9: Liberty, Justice, and All: The Folly of Doing Good by Stealth, David A. Green
Chapter 10: Mass Incarceration and Public Opinion on Crime and Justice: from Democratic Theory to Method and Reality, Elizabeth R. Turner
Chapter 11: A Tradeoff Between Democracy and Deterrence? An Empirical Investigation of Prison Violence and Inmate Advisory Councils, Amy Lerman and Vesla Weaver
Chapter 12: Violent Crime, Constitutional Frameworks and Mass Publics, Lisa L. Miller
Chapter 13: Democracy all the Way Down. Deliberative Democracy and Criminal Law: The Case of Social Protests, Roberto Gargarella


Albert W. Dzur is Professor of Political Science and Philosophy at Bowling Green State University.; Ian Loader is Professor of Criminology and Professorial Fellow of All Souls College at the University of Oxford.; Richard Sparks is Professor of Criminology and Head of the School of Law at the University of Edinburgh, where he is also a co-director of the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research.