Governing Through Crime: How the War on Crime Transformed American Democracy and Created a Culture…

Paperback | May 8, 2009

byJohnathan Simon

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Across America today, gated communities sprawl out from urban centers, employers enforce mandatory drug testing, and schools screen students with metal detectors. Social problems ranging from welfare dependency to educational inequality have been reconceptualized as crimes, with an attendantfocus on assigning fault and imposing consequences. Even before the recent terrorist attacks, non-citizen residents had become subject to an increasingly harsh regime of detention and deportation, and prospective employees subjected to background checks. How and when did our everyday world becomedominated by fear, every citizen treated as a potential criminal? In this startlingly original work, Jonathan Simon traces this pattern back to the collapse of the New Deal approach to governing during the 1960s when declining confidence in expert-guided government policies sent political leaders searching for new models of governance. The War on Crime offered aready solution to their problem: politicians set agendas by drawing analogies to crime and redefined the ideal citizen as a crime victim, one whose vulnerabilities opened the door to overweening government intervention. By the 1980s, this transformation of the core powers of government had spilledover into the institutions that govern daily life. Soon our schools, our families, our workplaces, and our residential communities were being governed through crime. This powerful work concludes with a call for passive citizens to become engaged partners in the management of risk and the treatment of social ills. Only by coming together to produce security, can we free ourselves from a logic of domination by others, and from the fear that currently rules oureveryday life.

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Across America today, gated communities sprawl out from urban centers, employers enforce mandatory drug testing, and schools screen students with metal detectors. Social problems ranging from welfare dependency to educational inequality have been reconceptualized as crimes, with an attendantfocus on assigning fault and imposing consequ...

Jonathan Simon is Associate Dean of Jurisprudence and Social Policy and Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley. He is co-editor of the journal Punishment and Society, and is the author of Poor Discipline: Parole and the Social Control of the Underclass, 1890-1990 and co-editor of two other volumes.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:344 pages, 9.09 × 6.1 × 0.98 inPublished:May 8, 2009Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195386019

ISBN - 13:9780195386011

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Crime and American Governance1. Power, Authority, and the Criminal Law2. "Prosecutor-in-chief": Executive Authority since the War on Crime3. We the Victims: Fearing Crime and Making Law4. Judgment and Distrust: The Jurisprudence of Crime and the Decline of Judicial Governance5. Project Exile: Race, the War on Crime, and Mass Imprisonment5. Project Exile: Race, the War on Crime, and Mass Imprisonment5. Project Exile: Race, the War on Crime, and Mass Imprisonment6. Crime Families: Governing Domestic Relations Through Crime7. Safe Schools: Reforming Education Through Crime8. Penalty Box: Crime, Victimization, and Punishment in the Deregulated Workplace9. Wars of Governance: From Cancer to Crime to TerrorNotesReferencesIndex