Punishment: Political, Not Moral

Thom Brooks

Durham University

February 16, 2011

Brooks, Thom (2011). "Punishment: Political, Not Moral," New Criminal Law Review 14: 427 - 438.

Alan Brudner’s Punishment and Freedom is a remarkable contribution to liberal and penal theory offering a well-argued and compelling theory of “legal retributivism.” This theory is an improved account of retributivism as alternative retributivist theories are thought to incorporate a problematic view of morality which only legal retributivism can overcome. While I agree with much of Brudner’s Hegelian-inspired account, I believe that it could be even further protected from problems facing retributivist theories more generally if he took greater account of insights into penal theory offered by British Hegelians. This article will explain what these insights are and how they might usefully inform Brudner’s legal retributivism and further increase its attractiveness.

Keywords: punishment, freedom, retribution, retributivism, mixed theory, British Hegelians, British Idealism, Green, Seth, Hegel, Brudner, Kant, Brooks

JEL Classification: K00, K10, K14, K19, K49

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Date posted: February 20, 2011 ; Last revised: January 15, 2013

Suggested Citation

Brooks, Thom, Punishment: Political, Not Moral (February 16, 2011). Brooks, Thom (2011). "Punishment: Political, Not Moral," New Criminal Law Review 14: 427 - 438.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1762547 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1762547

Contact Information

Thom Brooks (Contact Author)
Durham University ( email )
Durham Law School
Durham University
Durham, County Durham DH1 3ET
United Kingdom
+441913344365 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://www.dur.ac.uk/law/staff/?mode=staff&id=11140
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