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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.

Visions of Sharīʿa

Contemporary Discussions in Shī ͑ī Legal Theory

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Edited by Ali-reza Bhojani, Laurens de Rooij and Michael Bohlander

In Visions of Sharīʿa Bhojani, De Rooij and Bohlander present the first broad examination of ways in which legal theory ( uṣūl al-fiqh) within Twelver Shīʿī thought continues to be a forum for vibrant debates regarding the assumptions, epistemology and hermeneutics of Sharīʿa in contemporary Shīʿī thought. Bringing together authoritative voices and emerging scholars, from both ‘traditional’ seminaries and ‘Western’ academies, the distinct critical insider and emic accounts provided develop a novel avenue in Islamic legal studies. Contextualised through reference to the history of Shīʿī legal theory as well as contemporary juristic practice and socio-political considerations, the volume demonstrates how one of the most intellectually vibrant and developed discourses of Islamic thought continues to be a key forum for exploring visions of Sharīʿa.

Universal Right

Illustrated. Translated from Latin and Edited by Giorgio Pinton and Margaret Diehl

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Edited by Giambattista Vico, Giorgio A. Pinton and Margaret Diehl

This book is the first translation from Latin into English of the juridical writings of one of the greatest minds of the Enlightenment and one of the greatest figures in Italian philosophy. The complete text is fully annotated, supplied with an extensive introduction, completed by historical and biographical documents, and graced with evocative illustrations. Legal scholars, philosophers, historians, and political scientists throughout the world may now discover a classic by one of the world’s great jurists. Giambattista Vico (1668-1744) spent his entire life in Naples, where he taught at the University of Naples from 1699, the year he won the Chair of Rhetoric and Forensic Eloquence, to 1741, the year Gennaro Vico, his son, took over the duty of lecturer. In 1723, after having written the Universal Right, he competed, though without success, for the Chair of Civil Law, at the same University. He wrote the Universal Right in Latin, the official and universal language of scholarly works, to prove his competency in the field of law and jurisprudence. The Universal Right had a continuous relevance to the development and growth of juristic studies, both in Italy and in Europe, where it was translated into French and German. From the eighteenth to the twentieth century, the Universal Right influenced the writings and teaching of the practitioners of the Forum—Emmanuele Duni, Antonio Genovesi, Jules Michelet, Francesco Lomonaco, Mario Francesco Pagano, Gian Domenico Romagnosi, Cesare Lombroso, Pasquale Galluppi, Cesare Beccaria, and, among the many recent jurists, Emilio Betti, who taught in Italy and Germany, the author of Allgemeine Auslegungslehre als Methodik der Geisteswissenschaften. Due to the influence of Benedetto Croce’s disapproving interpretation, the Universal Right remained often overshadowed by the New Science in its three editions of 1725, 1730, and 1744. As we start the twenty-first century, scholars are by-passing Croce’s statement, and are looking at the Universal Right with due objectivity and renewed interest. While the New Science has been available since 1948, the Universal Right appears now, for the first time, in English, the contemporary universal language. Contrary to the opinion of some scholars, Vico, in the New Science, stated that he did not regret having written the Universal Right; he used the copy in his possession as a reference manual for all the works written afterward, until 1735. Andrea Battistini wrote, “When an English translation of the Diritto universale [Universal Right] is available, which will be able to rectify the trend toward contemporary relevance with a greater sense of historicity through an emphasis on the debt to Roman jurisprudence, one will finally arrive at a synthetic overall view, obscured today by the numerous specialized analyses. At all events, however, it is to be hoped that the multiplicity of voices, the dialectical battle of interpretations and the duel between historicity and contemporary relevance do not subside”. Isaiah Berlin stated that, “Vico was not read,” and, thus, his ideas were the treasure-trove in the hands of a few specialists and, in like manner, they remained to our day. Other scholars have mentioned the “copiatori di [copycats of] Vico” when speaking about the history and transmission of ideas. In regard to Universal Right, contemporary research and writing is pale and scarce, given the unavailability of translations and the difficulties of the original.

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.