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Reimagining Citizenship: Towards non-penal real utopias

Scott, DG and Bell, E (2016) Reimagining Citizenship: Towards non-penal real utopias. Justice, Power and Resistance, Founda (1). (Accepted)

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Abstract

As has long been recognised, the social distance created between offenders and a mythical law-abiding majority helps to fuel punitive practices and hinders any attempts to seriously reform the penal landscape (e.g. Christie, 2000). The commonplace treatment of the majority of offenders as non-citizens precludes meaningful dialogue and debate with ‘the citizenry’. As has been evident in recent years, debate about penal issues amongst those who are seen to be worthy of citizenship has often been reduced to base populism (Pratt, 2007). This presentation will seek to argue that penal reform can only result from adopting a genuinely inclusive, pluralist notion of citizenship (Kabeer, 2005) which is capable of incorporating all those affected by both state-defined crimes and various forms of social harm, whether they are regarded as victims or offenders. Even though we favour a Marshallian rights-based approach to citizenship, we argue that the notion of responsibility is also paramount. Yet, it needs to be understood in the widest possible sense to focus not only on the responsibilities of offenders as citizens but also those of individuals, states and communities to play a meaningful role in tackling harmful behaviour at source. This of course entails shifting the focus beyond harmful actions and those responsible for them to analyse broader agendas for political reform. Here we draw upon the insights of the Argentinian Liberation Philosopher Enrique Dussel (2010; 2013). Just as the debate on penal policy needs to go beyond crime, as it is commonly defined, the solutions proposed for the resolution of harmful behaviour need to go beyond the penal, going further than simply modifying the penal landscape to develop genuine non-penal real utopias.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: An amended version of this article has been accepted for publication by the Journal Justice Power and Resistance: The Journal of the European Group for the Study of Deviance and Social Control. Details of when the published version with be available online can be found on their website: http://www.egpress.org/content/justice-power-and-resistance
Uncontrolled Keywords: Real Utopia; Abolitionism; Alternatives to Prison; Human Rights; Citizenship
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology > Penology. Prisons. Corrections
Divisions: Humanities and Social Science
Publisher: EG Press
Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2016 11:28
Last Modified: 20 Apr 2016 11:28
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/3483

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