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Terrorism, Punishment, and Recognition

Carvalho, H. (2012). Terrorism, Punishment, and Recognition. New Criminal Law Review, 15(3), pp. 345-374. doi: 10.1525/nclr.2012.15.3.345


This paper discusses some theoretical and practical challenges that terrorism poses to a normative theory of punishment, using a theory of recognition as the main basis for critique. Punishment exists in constant tension with principles such as individual autonomy and human dignity, which the contemporary legal framework strives to uphold. The limits of this tension are both defined and challenged by situations of radical deviance, of which the current paradigmatic case is terrorism. Theorists such as Antony Duff who attempt to define punishment as a communicative endeavor, and thus justified in the eyes of a liberal political community, find a hard case in the figure of the terrorist. But such an analysis misses an important point in relation to the social nature of autonomy, and such absence risks jeopardizing the whole communicative process that punishment presumably preserves. From the perspective of recognition, this paper aims to reflect upon the criminalization of the terrorist in a way that not only criticizes it, but also puts the aforementioned justification of punishment into question.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: Published as New Criminal Law Review: In International and Interdisciplinary Journal, Vol. 15 No. 3, Summer 2012; (pp. 345-374) DOI: 10.1525/nclr.2012.15.3.345. © 2012 by the Regents of the University of California. Copying and permissions notice: Authorization to copy this content beyond fair use (as specified in Sections 107 and 108 of the U. S. Copyright Law) for internal or personal use, or the internal or personal use of specific clients, is granted by the Regents of the University of California for libraries and other users, provided that they are registered with and pay the specified fee via Rightslink® or directly with the Copyright Clearance Center.
Publisher Keywords: Duff; recognition; terrorism; communication; punishment; dialectics
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Departments: The City Law School > Academic Programmes
SWORD Depositor:
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