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Governing Paradoxes of Restorative Justice.

Pavlich, George.
June 4, 2015

Source: (2005) London: GlassHouse Press.

Mediation appears to be independent but is a way of indirectly expanding state control of people, according to Pavlich. This is an aspect of ‘governmentality’, a Foucaultian term describing how ‘power both creates and is created by the subjects entangled within its orbits’ (p. 10). Pavlich summarizes restorative justice ideas, for example that it is based on healing instead of punishment, and tends to be personal, carried out by members of the community, rather than impersonal, carried out by officials. The trouble is, that while it claims to be an alternative to criminal justice, it depends on the system for its supply of cases and its finances, and tends to respond only to those forms of harm which the state defines as ‘crime’; thus it tries to be an alternative while really being an appendage. We should not merely ‘restore’ an unsatisfactory, often criminogenic, status quo.


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