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Critique of Punitive Reason

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Over the past three decades, almost all Western countries have developed increasingly severe policies against crime, leading to the skyrocketing of prison demographics, despite declining rates of the most serious ones. The punitive moment contemporary societies are going through invites us to a fundamental reflection on the reasons why we punish. The justification of punishment has indeed long been an important topic in moral philosophy and legal studies, with two major strands: utilitarianism and retributivism. On the basis of research conducted on police, justice and prison in France, the lecture will propose a critical examination of these theories.

This talk is part of the Department of Geography - main Departmental seminar series series.

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