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From Community to Dominion: In Search for Social Values for Restorative Justice

Walgrave, Lode
June 4, 2015

Source: (2002) In, Elmar G.M. Weitekamp and Han-Jurgen Kerner, Restorative Justice: Theoretical Foundations. Deon, UK: Willan Publishing. Pp. 71-89.

Restorative justice theory often makes much of the idea of community, but the meaning and value of “communityâ€? are notoriously ambiguous. Is the answer then to seek a more precise and normative notion of community in order to advance restorative justice theory and practice, as some argue? Lode Walgrave responds in the negative. He argues that the notion of community is not useful for theory and is even dangerous for poorly conceived systemic practice. Rather, restorative justice theorizing should extract the communitarian social values from the “community containerâ€? and instead combine these values with the principles of a democratic constitutional state. Toward this end, Walgrave proposes the use of the notion “dominion,â€? as articulated by Braithwaite and Pettit, as a possible key to this effort.


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