Jonathan Simon, author of Governing Through Crime 11-28-12

7 pm Wednesday, November 28 at Revolution Books

Professor Jonathan Simon discusses his book,

Governing Through Crime – How the War on Crime Transformed American Democracy and Created a Culture of Fear

 “Ambitious and carefully reasoned...thought provoking...argues that what sociologists are calling “mass incarceration” signals not only a new approach to managing crime, but to managing society.”  - Boston Review

 “In exposing the ways in which manipulating the fear of crime has reshaped American private life, Simon's book makes a valuable contribution to the law and society literature.”  - Law and Society Review

Across America today gated communities sprawl out from urban centers, employers enforce mandatory drug testing, and schools screen students with metal detectors.  How and when did our everyday world  become dominated by fear, every citizen treated as a potential criminal?  Jonathan Simon traces this pattern back to the 1960s when declining confidence in government policies sent political leaders searching for new models of governance.  The War on Crime offered a ready solution to their problem: politicians redefined the ideal citizen as a crime victim, one whose vulnerability opened the door to overweening government intervention.  By the 1980s, this transformation of government had spilled over into the institutions that affect daily life.  Soon our schools, our families, our workplaces, and our communities were being governed through crime.

Jonathan Simon is Associate Dean of Jurisprudence and Social Policy and Professor of Law at UC Berkeley.  Co-editor of the journal Punishment & Society, he is also the author of Poor Discipline: Parole and the Social Control of the Underclass, 1890-1990 and co-editor of two other volumes.

Purchase the book online from RB [here].