Source: (1999) Paper presented at the Restorative Justice and Civil Society conference. Australian National University, 18 February 1999.

Pavlich describes the significance of the idea of “communityâ€? in popular thought, political thought, and now in criminal justice thought. Yet he notes ambiguity in the idea of community; while some laud community as a virtual panacea, others point to potential dangers in the communitarian movement. In this context, Pavlich examines some of these potential dangers. He deals with ways that communitarian thought evokes images of a shared community. In response Pavlich proposes a “dissociating strategyâ€? for conceiving community so that communities remain genuinely open and not closed into fixed forms, structures, identities, and processes that tend toward a kind of totalitarianism.