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Republican Criminology and Victim Advocacy

Pettit, Philip
June 4, 2015

Source: (1994) Law and Society Review. 28(4): 765.

Philip Pettit, along with John Braithwaite and others, has advocated a republican perspective on criminal justice. The focus of this perspective is the maximization of republican or civic freedom – in other words, dominion. If the criminal justice system were focused on promoting dominion for all affected by crime and response to crime, then it would also promote values such as people’s physical integrity, freedom of movement, secure property rights, procedural rights, equity, and more. Highlighting a grassroots victim advocacy movement in the state of Washington – which can be seen as increasing dominion for victims but decreasing it for others through a “get-tough,â€? stigmatizing criminal justice agenda – some have challenged the republican perspective on criminal justice. Pettit responds to that challenge by summarizing republican criminology and arguing for a better way to restore victim dominion.


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