Interpreting the Republican Theory

John Braithwaite and Philip Pettit

in Not Just Deserts

Published in print October 1992 | ISBN: 9780198240563
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191680205 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks

Interpreting the Republican Theory

Show Summary Details


This chapter shows where the republican target of promoting dominion is likely to lead the criminal justice system. It illustrates what the comprehensiveness requirement means in practical policy terms, looking at the key questions of criminal justice in a systemic way. It considers ten questions in turn. The treatment given to each question is determined by the need: (a) to show how the theory recommends different policies from its various better-known competitors—liberalism, retributivism, utilitarianism, and preventionism; (b) to show how the theory recommends policies different from contemporary practice; and (c) to show the transformation in the research agenda of criminology required by the theory. Before coming to the consideration of the ten questions, the chapter identifies four general presumptions the republican stance supports (parsimony, the checking of power, reprobation, and reintegration). These presumptions serve as middle-range principles for interpreting the abstract goal endorsed by republicans: the promotion of dominion.

Keywords: republican theory; criminal justice; dominion; parsimony; checking of power; reprobation; reintegration

Chapter.  19219 words. 

Subjects: Social and Political Philosophy

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.