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“Punishing Monsters, Judging Aliens: Justice at the Borders of Community.”

Hudson, Barbara
June 4, 2015

Source: (2006) The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology. 39(2): 232-247.

The article asks the questions of how we could, and why we should, do justice to people who are outside the limits of our geographical, political, moral or cognitive communities. After looking at political, moral and criminological aspects of the relationship between community and justice, the article argues that the tendency is late-modern societies is to treat those we cannot understand or whose presence among us is unsought for – aliens – as if they were dangerous and other than human – monsters. The article then draws on recent work by Bauman, Derrida, Habermas and Rorty to look for new ideas which could form a basis for theories of justice which could move beyond the borders of community. It is suggested that the ethics of hospitality espoused by these writers is the best basis currently available for a form of justice which could react to the stranger without hostility. (author’s abstract)


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