Fighting Fear with Fear: A Governmental Criminology of Peace Bonds

Title: Fighting Fear with Fear: A Governmental Criminology of Peace Bonds
Authors: Doerksen, Mark D.
Date: 2013
Abstract: Peace bonds are a legal tool of governance dating back to 13th c. England. In Canada, a significant change in the application of peace bonds took place in the mid-1990s, shifting their purpose from governing minor disputes between individuals to allowing for persons who have not been charged with a crime to be governed as if they had. Given the legal test for a peace bond has always been the determination of ‘reasonable fear’, the advent of these ‘specialized’ peace bonds suggests that the object of reasonable fear has changed. Despite their lengthy history, peace bonds have limited coverage in academic literature, a weakness compounded by a predominant doctrinal approach based in a liberal framework. The central inquiry of this thesis moves beyond this predominant perspective of ‘peace bonds as crime prevention’ by developing a governmental criminology, which deepens our understanding of the role of specialized peace bond law in contemporary society. Specifically, governmental criminology takes a Foucaultian critical legal studies approach, which acknowledges legal pluralism and sets out the historical context required for analysis. Ultimately, by unearthing underlying social, economic, and political power relations it is possible to critique the accompanying modes of calculation of fear and risk, thus challenging the regimes of practices that make specialized peace bonds possible. Specialized peace bonds merely manage the consequences of a criminal justice system limited by social, political, and economic circumstances, in a broader biopolitical project of integrating risky populations.
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -