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The End of Prisons

Reflections from the Decarceration Movement

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Edited by Mechthild E. Nagel and Anthony J. Nocella II

This book brings together a collection of social justice scholars and activists who take Foucault’s concept of discipline and punishment to explain how prisons are constructed in society from nursing homes to zoos. This book expands the concept of prison to include any institution that dominates, oppresses, and controls. Criminologists and others, who have been concerned with reforming or dismantling the criminal justice system, have mostly avoided to look at larger carceral structures in society. In this book, for example, scholars and activists question the way patriarchy has incapacitated women and imagine the deinstitutionalization of people with disabilities. In a time when popular sentiment critiques the dominant role of the elites (the “one percenters”), the state’s role in policing dissenting voices, school children, LGBTQ persons, people of color, and American Indian Nations, needs to be investigated. A prison, as defined in this book, is an institution or system that oppresses and does not allow freedom for a particular group. Within this definition, we include the imprisonment of nonhuman animals and plants, which are too often overlooked.

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Edited by Harry Lesser

The authors of these papers vary in age, nationality and professional background. They share a belief that all too often older people are not treated justly or fairly, and also a belief that this is particularly true with regard to a proper respect for their dignity as people and a proper allocation of medical and social resources. Their papers, in various ways, give evidence as to what is happening and arguments, based on philosophical ethics, as to why it is wrong. The authors also have a range of proposals, backed by argument and evidence, and drawing on factual material as well as philosophical argument, as to what could be done to improve the situation. This is a book for anyone, whether themselves elderly, looking after an older person, professionally involved in working with older people, or simply realising that one day they will be old, who wants to learn about what is wrong with the present situation and how it might be made better.

Social Justice, Poverty and Race

Normative and Empirical Points of View

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Edited by Paul Kriese and Randall E. Osborne

A clear understanding of social justice requires complex rather than simple answers. It requires comfort with ambiguity rather than absolute answers. This is counter to viewing right versus wrong, just vs. unjust, or good vs. evil as dichotomies. This book provides many examples of where and how to begin to view these as continuums rather than dichotomies.

The Methodology of Maurice Hauriou

Legal, Sociological, Philosophical

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Christopher Berry Gray

This book shows that Hauriou’s positivist and pragmatic jurisprudence and social theory, as well as their application to the study of institutions, is satisfactorily supported by his idealistic philosophy. The nine chapters first locate Hauriou’s influences, then situate his disciplinary methodologies within methodology in general. The central chapters concern each of the three methodologies in turn.

Sites of Discourse – Public and Private Spheres – Legal Culture

Papers from a Conference Held at the Technical University of Dresden, December 2001

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Edited by Uwe Böker and Julie A. Hibbard

The present collection of essays grew out of a conference, held in Dresden in December 2001, exploring the relationship between the public sphere and legal culture. The conference was held in connection with the ongoing research undertaken by the Sonderforschungsbereich 537 ‘Institutionalisation and Historical Change’ and, in particular, by the project ‘Circulation of Legal Norms and Values in British Culture from 1688 to 1900’.
The conference papers include essays on the theory of the public sphere from a systematic and historical point of view by Gert Melville, by Peter Uwe Hohendahl and by Jürgen Schlaeger, all of whom try to re-evaluate and/or improve upon Jürgen Habermas’ seminal contribution to the discussion of the emergence of modernism. Alastair Mann’s contribution investigates the situation in Scotland, particularly censorship and the oath of allegiance; Annette Pankratz focuses on the king’s body as a site of the public sphere; Heinz-Joachim Müllenbrock looks into the widespread ‘culture of contention’ at the beginning of the eighteenth century; and Eckhart Hellmuth considers the reform movement at the end of the century and the radical democrats’ insistence on the right to discuss the constitution.
Ian Bell, who took part in the conference, suggested the inclusion of part of the first chapter of his seminal study Literature and Crime in Augustan England (1991). Beth Swan, Anna-Christina Giovanopoulos, and Christoph Houswitschka respectively analyse the ideologies of justice, the interrelation between journalism and crime, and the juridical evaluation of the crime of incest and its representation in public. Greta Olson investigates keyholes as liminal spaces between the public and the private, Juliet Wightman focuses on theatre and the bear pit, Uwe Böker examines the court room and prison as public sites of discourse, and York-Gothart Mix discusses the German emigrant culture in North America.

The Reopening of the American Mind

On Skepticism and Constitutionalism

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James W. Vice

The Reopening of the American Mind: On Skepticism and Constitutionalism explores the connection of moderate skepticism with attachment to constitutionalism through the thought of five writers. The features of this skepticism were concisely delineated by James Madison in the 37th Federalist as a recognition of the complexity of political matters, the limitations of human reason, and the shortcomings of language. The position was first articulated by Cicero who connected it with the idea of a mixed or republican constitution developed by trial and error over generations. Cicero was influential in the world of David Hume, Edmund Burke, and Madison. The skeptical/constitutional connection found its most articulate recent advocate in Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter and underlay his advocacy of judicial restraint.
Current events have revived interest in the primacy of the legislative branch in balancing interests and rights, in the States as laboratories for democracy, and in an experimental approach to the solution of social problems in what might be called a reopening of the American mind.
The five central chapters explore the skeptical/constitutional connection and the spirit of moderation in these political thinkers. Without an appreciation of this tradition of avoiding dogmatism, people will continue to demand simple answers to complex problems. The book is not, however, primarily a tract for the times but a reflection on the on-going search for a more civil world.

Social Cohesion and Legal Coercion

A Critique of Weber, Durkheim, and Marx

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Leon Shaskolsky Sheleff

The book is a critical analysis of the work of Max Weber, Emile Durkheim and Karl Marx. It focuses on their separate analyses of the role of law in society, pointing out their faults and errors, and the resultant impact on modern social science. The author takes issue with Weber's work on rationality, with Durkheim's work on repressive and restitutive law, and with Marx's work on social justice and law as part of the super-structure.
In each section of the book he shows the implications that flow from a re-assessment and re-interpretation of their work for an understanding of society. The book is multi-disciplinary, making ample reference to law, sociology, anthropology, history, religion, ecology, criminology, philosophy and economics. Its various chapters discuss a wide range of themes, including rationality, tradition, science, political authority, conflict resolution, community, justice and altruism.