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Justice and Punishment: The Rationale of Coercion. By Matt Matravers. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. 286p. $70.00.

  • Jean Bethke Elshtain (a1)


Justice and Punishment begins promisingly. Matt Matravers notes that the question—“Why and by what right, do some people punish others?”—is “not a new question. The problem of punishment is one of the most enduring in political theory” (p. 1). But over the years, punishment theory has been separated from moral and political philosophy more generally. The upshot is that both punishment theory and moral and political philosophy have suffered. To put things right, Matravers avers, any adequate theory of punishment “must be rooted in a broader moral theory, and that broader moral theory will be … constructivist” (p. 1). It is the task of his book to explore why and how this is so.


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American Political Science Review
  • ISSN: 0003-0554
  • EISSN: 1537-5943
  • URL: /core/journals/american-political-science-review
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