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A Reader's Companion to 'Against Prediction': A Reply to Ariela Gross, Yoram Margalioth, and Yoav Sapir on Economic Modeling, Selective Incapacitation, Governmentality, and Race


Bernard E. Harcourt


Columbia University


Law & Social Inquiry, Vol. 33, 2008
U of Chicago Law & Economics, Olin Working Paper No. 350
U of Chicago, Public Law Working Paper No. 175

Abstract:     
From parole prediction instruments and violent sexual predator scores to racial profiling on the highways, instruments to predict future dangerousness, drug-courier profiles, and IRS computer algorithms to detect tax evaders, the rise of actuarial methods in the field of crime and punishment presents a number of challenging issues at the intersection of economic theory, sociology, history, race studies, criminology, social theory, and law. The three review essays of "Against Prediction" by Ariela Gross, Yoram Margalioth, and Yoav Sapir, raise these challenges in their very best light. Ranging from the heights of poststructuralist and critical race theory to the intricate details of mathematical economics and criminological analysis, the essays apply different disciplinary lenses to the analysis of the actuarial turn offered in "Against Prediction" and set forth both substantive and structural challenges to the book. By means of a detailed reply to the three reviews, this essay provides a reader's companion to "Against Prediction".

Number of Pages in PDF File: 24

Keywords: Criminal profiling, racial profiling, drug-courier profiling, parole, parole prediction, sentencing, IRS, statistical methods, actuarial methods, prediction, future dangerousness, race, criminal justice, elasticity, bail, stop-and-search, policing, stop-and-frisk, Foucault, discipline

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Date posted: August 15, 2007  

Suggested Citation

Harcourt, Bernard E., A Reader's Companion to 'Against Prediction': A Reply to Ariela Gross, Yoram Margalioth, and Yoav Sapir on Economic Modeling, Selective Incapacitation, Governmentality, and Race. Law & Social Inquiry, Vol. 33, 2008; U of Chicago Law & Economics, Olin Working Paper No. 350; U of Chicago, Public Law Working Paper No. 175. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1007073

Contact Information

Bernard E. Harcourt (Contact Author)
Columbia University ( email )
Jerome Green Hall, Room 515
435 West 116th Street
New York, NY 10027
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.law.columbia.edu/fac/Bernard_Harcourt
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