To Kill a Thief: Punishment, Proportionality, and Criminal Subjectivity in Locke's Second Treatise

33 Pages Posted: 29 Jun 2010 Last revised: 21 Apr 2011

See all articles by Andrew Dilts

Andrew Dilts

Political Science; University of Chicago - Society of Fellows

Date Written: March 31, 2011

Abstract

This paper argues that the thief, a liminal figure that haunts the boundary of political membership and the border between the law of reason and the law of beasts, drives Locke’s accounts of the foundation of the commonwealth and the right to rebellion in the Second Treatise. Locke’s political theory is best read through punishment as a theory of subject formation, which relies upon an unstable concept of proportionality to produce this liminal figure in order to secure the member as a “stable” political subject.

Keywords: Punishment, Locke, Subjectivity, Proportionality, Subjectivity, Thief

Suggested Citation

Dilts, Andrew, To Kill a Thief: Punishment, Proportionality, and Criminal Subjectivity in Locke's Second Treatise (March 31, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1631871 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1631871

Andrew Dilts (Contact Author)

Political Science

1 LMU Drive
University Hall Suite 4100
Los Angeles, CA 90045
United States

University of Chicago - Society of Fellows ( email )

5845 S. Ellis Ave.
Gates-Blake 317
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-702-0354 (Phone)
773-834-0493 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://dilts.org/

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
121
rank
222,025
Abstract Views
915
PlumX Metrics