Unfinished Business: Legitimacy, Crime Control and Democratic Politics

Richard Sparks, Ian Loader

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

Abstract / Description of output

This chapter seeks to recover and re-explore the central importance of the concept of legitimacy for criminological analysis. The chapter treats the idea of legitimacy as a political construct with critically important applications to the contemporary analysis of crime control. The chapter begins by noting what is seen as the problematic disconnect between two important bodies of work on legitimacy in criminal justice: one focused on the situational deployments of penal and policing power, the other on more macroscopic analyses of the emergence of late-modern (or ‘neoliberal’) penality. What falls between these preoccupations, the chapter suggests, is a closer analysis of the institutional arrangements for debating, deliberating, and deciding on what it is that criminal justice institutions are being tasked with and called upon to do.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLegitimacy and Criminal Justice
Subtitle of host publicationAn International Exploration
EditorsAlison Liebling, Justice Tankebe
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Print)9780198701996
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • legitimacy
  • procedural justice
  • moral alignment
  • compliance


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