Loïc Wacquant



The Advent of the Penal State Is Not a Destiny

Wacquant maps a straight path from neoliberal macroeconomics to the carceral state. In addressing the rebirth of the European prison, Wacquant argues that the conversion of the ruling classes to neoliberal ideology involves a triple operation — erasing the economic state, dismantling the social state, and strengthening the penal state — whereby the criminal justice apparatus is crucial to the post-Keynesian management of insecurity. The author also discusses the bogus scholarship purveyed across the Atlantic by a network of right-wing think tanks; in France, some academics live solely off the secondhand resale of American security ideologies. Wacquant argues that much is to be gained from forging links between activists and researchers who work on the penal front and those who battle on the social front, and this on the European level so as to optimize the intellectual and practical resources to be invested in this struggle.

repression, penal state repression; police — Europe; poverty; state [the] — Europe; Wacquant, Loic — interviews

Citation: Social Justice Vol. 28, No. 3 (2001): 81-87