Experiments in Risk and Justice
Theoretical Criminology, Vol. 12, No. 4., pp. 451-470, 2008
36 Pages Posted: 25 Sep 2009
Date Written: 2008
Risk has not been regarded positively in most social theory and critical criminology, especially in the light of Beck's 'risk society' thesis. This paper argues that such criticism is misplaced. Risk is an extremely variable governmental technology, and many of the targets of criticism are shaped by the contemporary political environment. The same environment has given a similar negative cast to other approaches to security. There are ways of deploying risk, such as drug harm minimization strategies, that offer considerable promise for linking risk and security, and more broadly to issues of social justice. However, abstract calls for harm minimizing security, suffer exactly the same problems that confront generalizing about risk-based security. This paper suggests that we could use a governmental analytic to construct a strategic knowledge of risk, both through the analysis of existing approaches (such as harm minimisation and restorative justice) and by using this to generate experiments in risk, security and justice.
Keywords: risk, justice, legal process, restorative justice, crime prevention, participation
JEL Classification: K10, K14, K30
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation