Research Handbook on Critical Legal Theory
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Research Handbook on Critical Legal Theory

Edited by Emilios Christodoulidis, Ruth Dukes and Marco Goldoni

Critical theory, characteristically linked with the politics of theoretical engagement, covers the manifold of the connections between theory and praxis. This thought-provoking Research Handbook captures the broad range of those connections as far as legal thought is concerned and retains an emphasis both on the politics of theory, and on the notion of theoretical engagement. The first part examines the question of definition and tracks the origins and development of critical legal theory along its European and North American trajectories. The second part looks at the thematic connections between the development of legal theory and other currents of critical thought such as; Feminism, Marxism, Critical Race Theory, varieties of post-modernism, as well as the various ‘turns’ (ethical, aesthetic, political) of critical legal theory. The third and final part explores particular fields of law, addressing the question how the field has been shaped by critical legal theory, or what critical approaches reveal about the field, with the clear focus on opportunities for social transformation.
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Chapter 21: Between persecution and reconciliation: criminal justice, legal form and human emancipation

Craig Reeves, Alan Norrie and Henrique Carvalho


This chapter offers a series of reflections on how to pursue new directions in critical criminal justice, by exploring the links between the moral grammar of criminal justice on the one hand, and a serious engagement with moral psychology on the other. In atypical fashion, this handbook chapter starts with an original discussion, leaving a broader engagement with literature and scholarship in criminal justice to its latter half. The first section explores the foundations for a moral psychology of criminal justice, which are further developed in the second and third sections through a dialogue with the work of Melanie Klein, which is then applied to a critical understanding of punishment. The fourth and final section then applies the conceptual framework developed in the paper to the field of criminal justice scholarship and practice. The chapter concludes by considering whether criminal justice can be considered within an emancipatory frame.

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