Governmentality analytics and human rights in criminology

Authored by: Randy K. Lippert

The Routledge International Handbook of Criminology and Human Rights

Print publication date:  August  2016
Online publication date:  August  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138931176
eBook ISBN: 9781315679891
Adobe ISBN: 9781317395553


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Already by the mid-1990s governmentality concepts and themes were actively informing critically oriented criminological inquiries, especially in Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom (see, for example, Hunt and Wickham 1994, O’Malley 1992, Stenson 1993, Garland 1997). French philosopher and historian Michel Foucault was not a criminologist (he certainly would have resisted the moniker), but his ideas about ‘governmentality’ (or governing mentalities) (Foucault 1991) nonetheless were to profoundly influence criminology. This occurred largely independently of his famous historical account of the prison and the corresponding rise of discipline (Foucault 1979). Elements of this governmentality analytic continue to be deployed to render aspects of criminal justice, crime control, and penal domains more intelligible (see, for example, Gilling 2010). But those criminologists embracing the governmentality analytic as it developed rarely have engaged with human rights. Such engagement in this perspective is either absent or at best oblique, leaving any connections between these bodies of ideas undeveloped.

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