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Why do autocrats use courts to repress when the outcomes are presumed known from the start? This chapter introduces the puzzle of political trials in autocratic regimes and provides a theoretical framework for rethinking repression from a judicial perspective. I introduce the main theory, which is outlined in three parts: the function of political trials, who goes to trial, and the dynamics of a cooperative judiciary. I then explain the analytical approach and empirical focus of the book: comparative historical analysis of postcolonial regimes in postcolonial Anglophone Africa.
This chapter unpacks questions of judicial compliance in autocratic regimes. On what basis can we assume that judges will dutifully execute the autocrat’s agenda? What can autocrats do to ensure that judges do cooperate? To answer these questions, I focus on the obstacles African autocrats confronted in the postcolonial period when they attempted to use courts for repressive ends as well as the strategies and tactics they used to overcome them. I find that postcolonial autocrats faced a trade-off in judicial design: Professionalizing the judiciary restricted who was eligible to serve on the bench. Facing a shortage of locally qualified jurists, autocrats instead recruited judges from abroad. Drawing on a variety of archival sources, I show that African and British officials worked together to expand the supply of judicial candidates across the British Commonwealth, which not only undermined the power of indigenous African judges but also helped cultivate more compliant courts.
This chapter generalizes patterns of judicial and extrajudicial repression in cross-national context. Using original archival data on regime threats and coup plots in postcolonial sub-Saharan Africa, I provide statistical evidence that patterns of punishment adhered to strategies of repression as predicted by the main theory: Insider elites were significantly more likely to go to trial; outsider elites were significantly more likely to face extrajudicial repression. I also explore variation in judicial and extrajudicial repression outcomes.
This chapter offers reflections on the broader implications of the theoretical framework and draws parallels between patterns of past and present. I consider scope conditions of the argument, how strategies of repression have evolved over time, and raise questions for future work.
This chapter evaluates the mechanisms of political trials in autocratic contexts. Focusing on Kenya since independence, I explore when and why judicial strategies of repression were used to punish regime insiders. My analysis specifically examines how the spectacle of a sedition trial was used to restore confidence in the autocrat when regime cohesion was under strain. Using careful process tracing and rich archival documents, I provide evidence that political justice helped restore obedience and dissuade dissent when the autocrat’s authority was contested.
This chapter develops a theory of judicial repression to explain when, where, and why autocrats use courts to punish rivals. My central claim is that judicial punishment enforces obedience where power is contested. By invoking the proceedings of court, autocrats show the consequences of defying authority through judicial spectacle, displays which can enforce obedience and dissuade dissent. I argue that this process is particularly useful when confronting threats to regime cohesion. I then explain how the effectiveness of this strategy requires a cooperative judiciary and explore what measures autocrats can undertake to minimize the risk of judicial rebellion.
This chapter uses case studies of postcolonial Tanzania and Sierra Leone to examine pathways of persecution and punishment during pivotal moments of autocratic contestation and consolidation. Through careful process tracing, I analyze how the politics of the early independence period, which were fundamentally shaped by the struggle for national control, influenced strategies of judicial and extrajudicial repression in the years that followed. My analysis draws on a variety of archival sources that provide a rare window into the challenges faced by new autocrats, including how threats to autocratic survival were perceived in real time.
The Chorus of the Agamemnon depict death and the afterlife in diverse ways, both in their dramatic role as the Elders of Argos and in their more universal choral songs. This chapter examines the ethical and political values their contradictory references imply, whether any affect their actions as characters, and how each links to other themes in the trilogy. The Elders go further than the Herald by not only treating death as oblivion at some points but even actively wishing death at others. In what way does this seeming escapism, contrasted with their emphasis on a good death as glorious, affect their resistance to the coup d’état? How does their story of returning casualties color the Argive critique of the Trojan War? The choral songs introduce different types of afterlives into the trilogy: in the memory of the living, at the grave, through the psyche that survives after death, in the possibility of resurrection, and even as a realm of punishment for ethical wrongs. The rest of the Oresteia significantly develops many of the Elders’ wide-ranging speculations.
Half of the people who seek treatment for Obsessive–Compulsive Disorder (OCD) do not benefit from first-line interventions. A better understanding of the factors associated with obsessions and compulsions may inform the development of more effective treatments. This study aimed to examine whether a fear of guilt is associated with obsessive–compulsive symptoms. Fear of guilt incorporates two domains: punishment (the tendency to believe that guilt means one is bad and to punish oneself for feelings of guilt) and harm prevention (the tendency to believe that guilt implies failure to be one's ideal self and the drive to prevent feelings of guilt). Online questionnaires assessing OCD symptoms, fear of guilt, and other related factors were administered to 192 adults. In contrast to previous studies, key conceptually relevant constructs, such as shame, anxiety, and depression symptoms, were also assessed. The punishment dimension of fear of guilt subscale was positively associated with OCD symptoms controlling for age, sex, guilt, shame, responsibility for harm, generalised anxiety, and depression. The punishment domain of fear of guilt may therefore be an important factor to consider and potentially target in treatments for OCD. Future investigations with clinical populations may clarify the importance of fear of guilt in OCD.
Australian indigenous peoples are among the world’s most incarcerated populations. The nineteenth century origins of this fact lie in Australian legal histories, of the interaction of indigenous peoples and British criminal law introduced in the course of colonisation. This chapter considers first the assertion of criminal jurisdiction in law and statute in the early nineteenth century, paying attention to some significant differences between the colonies. Second, we look at some elements of criminal trial, including the treatment of Aboriginal evidence and the role of interpreters. Third, the chapter examines the importance of the criminal justice system’s putative concern with victimisation and the justice due to victims. Finally we consider some evidence about the system-wide impacts of the assertion of criminal jurisdiction over indigenous peoples, including patterns of prosecution and punishment. Understanding these legal histories makes clear how the legal system’s professed principles of justice and fairness compounded discrimination and disadvantage.
Throughout his political works, Plato takes the aim of politics to be the virtue and happiness of the citizens and the unity of the city. This paper examines the roles played by law in promoting individual virtue and civic unity in the Republic, Statesman, and Laws. Section 1 argues that in the Republic, laws regulate important institutions, such as education, property, and family, and thereby creating a way of life that conduces to virtue and unity. Section 2 argues that in the Statesman, the political expert determines the mean between extremes and communicates it to citizens through laws that guide their judgment and conduct, so that they become virtuous themselves and the city is unified; this account of the role of law suggest how even non-expert legislation can contribute to virtue and unity. Section 3 argues that the Laws affirms and develops the idea that citizens should know and accept the laws to become virtuous themselves and to unify the city, and explains how the persuasive preludes and the sanction for violation attached to laws contribute to citizen virtue and civic unity.
In Chapter 1 I discuss the available evidence in evolutionary biology, psychology, palaeontology, anthropology and neuroscience on the origins of Homo sapiens’ normative orientations. I review plausible interpretations of the evolutionary emergence of these normative orientations in the histories of humankind and its predecessors. This normative endowment was probably our best-fitting quality, explaining our capacity to emerge as the most effective predator on earth. It is likely that without a long-evolved disposition towards cooperation, humans would never have achieved a stage of civilisation in which it is possible to ask the question ‘how is cooperation possible?’. The chapter also reviews the evidence on whether early political institutions derived from preceding different types of institutions or co-evolved with them.
Prisoners in Canadian federal penitentiaries can obtain medical assistance in dying (MAiD). This raises questions about the nature and legitimacy of pain and death in incarceration. The authors analyze responses to a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation online news article discussing the provision of MAiD to prisoners. The comments exemplify different sensibilities about the state’s lethality with respect to prisoners. These sensibilities—both legal and penal—draw on an array of cultural referents to orient to prisoners’ deaths generally, but also MAiD specifically. The authors explore how certain referents factor in these legal and penal sensibilities and appear to mediate commenters’ judgements. For example, capital punishment factors significantly in conversations about MAiD for prisoners, as well as imaginations of prisoners’ bodies in pain. As a result, there is a spectacularization of prisoners’ carceral death, despite the humane, “civilized” death MAiD provides, which circumscribes how some commenters imagine the procedure and prisoners’ deaths.
The chapter gives several examples of sexual serial killers who incorporated fetishes or partialisms into their killings. Glen Rogers was pushed under water by his red-headed mother. When killing, he targeted red-headed women and their bodies tended to be left in water. Volker Eckert had a fetish linked to women’s hair, and the assaulting of women while touching their hair formed a gateway activity to killing. Jerry Brudos developed a shoe fetish after being punished by his mother for wearing women’s high-heel shoes. This exemplifies high incentive salience being attributed to shoes. Salience then extended to women’s feet, a partialism. Charles Albright developed a fetish for eyes, having had early experience with eyes in the course of taxidermy. Yuri Tsiuman obtained an orgasm while choking a woman wearing black tights. Subsequently, he targeted women wearing black tights. H. H. Holmes shows some characteristics of having a fetish acquired to a skeleton.
In Chapter 1, I attempt to explicate the problem of blame by making use of an analogy with another more familiar problem relevant to permissibility and harm – the problem of punishment. I argue that this comparison serves to highlight two clear desiderata for a normatively adequate account of blame, one concerning the value of blame and another concerning desert. In this chapter, I also argue that the problem of blame concerns the reactive varieties of blame in particular, offer some principled strategies for distinguishing between reactive and nonreactive varieties of blame, and discuss the role that the negative reactive attitudes play in characterizing the former.
For those with anorexia nervosa, it is (1) not a “natural” or dominant brain response to eating like those without AN. (2)It is difficult to trust what and when to eat. (3) It is not typical to experience pleasure in eating a variety of foods. (4) Eating is anxiety provoking. Not eating appears to reduce anxiety. Individuals with AN tend to experience reduced sensitivity to reward and increased sensitivity to punishment. Altered sensitivity to reward and punishment is observed in those with AN, for both food and general rewards/losses and thus suggests a broader deficit in reward processing. Hunger does not increase reward sensitivity in AN, suggesting a deficit in translating physiological signals to motivated behavior, and explaining why individuals with AN can restrict food despite starvation. Altered reward processing may be why we see low motivation for recovery and anhedonia. Decreased brain response to reward in the cognitive circuitry in AN is associated with elevated anxiety, suggesting a brain basis for coding food as risky.
Chapter 3 explores the prison as a place of incarceration of large numbers of mentally ill people in the late nineteenth century. It shows how the 1860s and 1870s was marked by the recalibration of separate confinement, as prison administration became increasingly centralised and uniform and discipline increasingly penal, its inspiration shifting from reformist imperatives to an emphasis on deterrence and punishment. By the 1860s transportation had mostly ended, the early optimism of the reformers was largely lost, and there was widespread concern about the retention of prisoners in the criminal justice system and high levels of recidivism, including in prisons with large female populations. The chapter addresses the constraints of ‘dual loyalty’ and its impact on the management of mental illness, with prison medical officers responsible for the health of their prisoner patients, but also required to implement and support the prison’s disciplinary practices. The chapter illuminates how prison medical officers produced their own distinct categories and labels to describe mental disorders, that was bolstered by an interest in discerning the relationship between criminality and mental illness.
Survey data on Indian labour points to a rapid expansion of the care-domestic economy, currently the main employment avenue for urban women. Hitherto, studies on domestic service portray the unequal class structures of master–servant relationships and the escalating phenomenon of live-out and part-time hired help. This article shifts the focus to under-researched, yet increasingly visible, placement agencies, which regulate care-domestic markets and provide diverse services, from specialized ‘patient care’ to the training of subaltern communities. The article discusses how these service providers denote prominent shifts in skill sets, intra-household care arrangements, forms of medical assistance, and new (and old) mechanisms of authority. The ethnography expands our knowledge of everyday mediations around hiring and training between agencies, employers, and care-domestic workers in New Delhi. The article puts forward innovative conceptualizations of service provider approaches through juxtaposing the informal practices of local (or Indian) agencies with formalized and ‘civilizing’ agendas developed by Euro-American intermediaries. The formal–informal dichotomized framework of service provider relationships adds to critical scholarship that contrived dualisms which need historical scaffolding and nuanced engagement. I argue that, while informal and formal approaches appear markedly different for the care-domestic economy, they also overlap. Significantly, both approaches are unjustly weighted against the workers who lack the potential to democratize labour relations. Local agencies reinforce exploitative care-domestic relationships, while Euro-American intermediaries, who espouse modern values, formalization, and civilizing experiments, promulgate punitive regimes and stigmatized futures for their Indian subjects.
This chapter uses the example of Fernando de Noronha (Brazil) to introduce the main theme of the book: the larger regional and global history of punitive mobility. It argues that its survival in the 1890s disrupts the dominant narrative of carceral history: the rise of the prison. It suggests that into this period convicts were sent long distances as unfree labour. This was due to a close and enduring connection between punishment and nation and empire building. Convicts satisfied geo-political and social ambitions, and were connected to colonization, resource extraction, and productivity. At the same time, it argues that punitive mobility is connected to the history of governance and repression. Further, it produced new kinds of classifications and social structures in which governments encouraged and nurtured family formation as a route to both convict reform and permanent settlement. Despite this, convict expertise made a vital contribution to the local practices and global circulations that together shaped contemporary scientific knowledge production and straddled nations and empires. Convicts and penal colonies occupy an important place in the making of the modern world, with respect not just to the history of punishment, but of governance, labour, nation and empire, and global knowledge exchange.
Clare Anderson provides a radical new reading of histories of empire and nation, showing that the history of punishment is not connected solely to the emergence of prisons and penitentiaries, but to histories of governance, occupation, and global connections across the world. Exploring punitive mobility to islands, colonies, and remote inland and border regions over a period of five centuries, she proposes a close and enduring connection between punishment, governance, repression, and nation and empire building, and reveals how states, imperial powers, and trading companies used convicts to satisfy various geo-political and social ambitions. Punitive mobility became intertwined with other forms of labour bondage, including enslavement, with convicts a key source of unfree labour that could be used to occupy territories. Far from passive subjects, however, convicts manifested their agency in various forms, including the extension of political ideology and cultural transfer, and vital contributions to contemporary knowledge production.