The rule of law, representational struggles, and the will to punish

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This chapter challenges Fassin’s blurring of the border between punishment that is sanctioned and limited by law, and unlawful state violence. While acknowledging that the U.S. and France see significant amounts of unlawful suffering inflicted by state authorities, Garland insists that the philosophical distinction between lawful and lawless violence matters. Indeed that distinction, he suggests, is central to the kind of critique that Fassin rightly wishes to promote overall. This distinction is also important for describing how legality subjects power to the restraint of rules, as for example in the history of mob violence in the U.S., where lynchings have come to be treated as a crime rather than a popular punishment.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Will to Punish
EditorsDidier Fassin, Christopher Kutz
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Print)9780190888589
Publication statusPublished - 6 Sep 2018

Publication series

NameThe Berkeley Tanner Lectures


  • punishment
  • state violence
  • lynching
  • critique
  • justification


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