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Enemy on the Border: Critique of a Programme in Favour of a Preventive State

NCJ Number
Punishment & Society Volume: 9 Issue: 3 Dated: July 2007 Pages: 301-318
Susanne Krasmann
Date Published
July 2007
18 pages
This article offers a critique of a criminal justice program in favor of a preventative state called, enemy penology.
The enemy penology was developed by a German professor of criminal law who drew from a Foucauldian theoretical perspective to solve contemporary security problems. The emphasis of enemy penology is on preventive strategy focused on security. The exercise of power and force are legitimized through the issue of security and act as a form of population management. The violent nature of enemy penology is disguised by its preventative focus--at the heart of enemy penology lies the expulsion and elimination of the enemy in the name of protecting the life of the people. Liberty as a paradigm is thus abandoned, as is the democratic constitutional state. The author claims that the enemy penology undermines the principles of the rule of law and is in essence a form of “entitlement cruelty” against uncertain peoples. The “unlawful enemy combatants" are exposed to governmental violence and force and are tortured and punished as well as triumphantly degraded as a media spectacle, all while being presented as a constant threat to the people. In making this argument, the author relies on examples from a United States Guantanamo policy and the Patriot Act. Thus, enemy penology amounts to a renaissance of sovereign power in the name of population management. Notes, references


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