Justice in the Risk Society

Australian & New Zealand Journal of Criminology, 38(1), 25-38

18 Pages Posted: 22 Jan 2016

See all articles by Clifford Shearing

Clifford Shearing

University of Cape Town; Griffith Institute of Criminology; University of Montreal, School of Criminology; University of New South Wales; University of Toronto

Les Johnston

University of Portsmouth - Institute of Criminal Justice Studies

Date Written: January 22, 2005


The punishment paradigm is attractive because of the parsimonious way in which it integrates the instrumental and the symbolic features of ordering. This paper examines the relationship between these features in a context where risk and risk reduction are prioritized. The central question motivating the paper is a normative one: What opportunities, if any, does the explosion of risk-focused technologies present for minimizing our reliance on punishment as a technology for governing security? Our contention is that the mentality of risk has promoted the exploration of alternative technologies that call into question the tight coupling of punishment with the governance of security. A key issue addressed in the paper is whether it is possible for subjects to experience a sense of justice that is not punishment-centered. Such a situation exists, we argue, in the case of an initiative in the governance of security that one of us has been facilitating in South Africa.

Keywords: risk; criminology; crime; justice

Suggested Citation

Shearing, Clifford D and Johnston, Les, Justice in the Risk Society (January 22, 2005). Australian & New Zealand Journal of Criminology, 38(1), 25-38, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2720228 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2720228

Clifford D Shearing (Contact Author)

University of Cape Town ( email )

Private Bag X3
Rondebosch, Western Cape 7701
South Africa

HOME PAGE: http://www.publiclaw.uct.ac.za/pbl/staff/cshearing

Griffith Institute of Criminology ( email )

170 Kessels Road
Nathan, Queensland QLD 4111

HOME PAGE: http://https://experts.griffith.edu.au/academic/c.shearing

University of Montreal, School of Criminology ( email )

C.P. 6128 succursale Centre-ville
Montreal, Quebec H3C 3J7

University of New South Wales ( email )


University of Toronto ( email )

Robarts Library
130 St. George Street, Room 8001
Toronto, ON M5S 1A5
416-978-3720 Ext. 234 (Phone)
416-978-4195 (Fax)

Les Johnston

University of Portsmouth - Institute of Criminal Justice Studies ( email )

Portsmouth PO1 3DE, Hampshire
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.port.ac.uk/departments/academic/icjs/staff/title,1169,en.html

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