Experiments in Risk and Justice

Theoretical Criminology, Vol. 12, No. 4., pp. 451-470, 2008

Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 09/97

36 Pages Posted: 25 Sep 2009  

Pat O'Malley

University of Sydney - Faculty of Law

Date Written: 2008

Abstract

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

O'Malley, Pat, Experiments in Risk and Justice (2008). Theoretical Criminology, Vol. 12, No. 4., pp. 451-470, 2008; Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 09/97. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1478283

Pat O'Malley (Contact Author)

University of Sydney - Faculty of Law ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

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