Didier Fassin's At the Heart of the State: The Moral World of Institutions PDF

By Didier Fassin

ISBN-10: 0745335608

ISBN-13: 9780745335605

The kingdom is usually considered as an summary and impartial bureaucratic entity. in contrast good judgment inspiration, At the guts of the State argues that it's also a concrete and positioned truth, embodied within the paintings of its brokers and inscribed within the problems with its time. 

The results of a five-year research performed by way of ten students, this e-book describes and analyses the police, the courtroom process, the criminal equipment, the social prone, and psychological future health amenities in France. Combining family tree and ethnography, its authors convey that those country associations don't easily enforce legislation, ideas and strategies: they mobilise values and impacts, decisions and feelings. In different phrases, they mirror the morality of the state. 

Of sizeable curiosity to either social scientists and political theorists, this paintings will make a huge contribution to the ever increasing literature at the modern state.

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Example text

Their behavior does not enter into the decision because there is nothing personal and because we do not know each other. The prospect of personalized sentencing thus offers a discursive and analytical framework that allows magistrates to dismiss or neutralize the emotional dimension of adjudication, so that it does not appear as such. One reason why this handling of affects through social and legal discourse seems necessary is that it frames and preserves the work of deliberation. Indeed, the decision of the judges assumes a margin of inner or subjective or, to put it more bluntly, arbitrary assessment.

These developments pose a major problem for the magistrates involved in prosecution and sentencing: that of a judgment made in a situation of constraint, under the pressure of an accelerated time frame, and with limited means, a consequence of the increased number of immediate appearance trials and mandatory sentencing rules. The new norms were resisted by the judiciary as a whole when they were first enacted and have been denounced regularly since then as “contrary to the French tradition of the individualization of sentences,” as judges I met in the field pointed out.

Almost every time judges were faced with sentencing guidelines they could not disregard, even when they gave a reason for their refusal to apply the minimum sentence in their decisions. In cases like these, which form the bulk of the court’s docket, the gap between the act committed and the coercive form of judgment, as well as the extreme severity of the sentence incurred, raises a question: is it really the offense that is being judged (the theft of a few euros, the possession of stolen lunch vouchers)?

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At the Heart of the State: The Moral World of Institutions by Didier Fassin


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