By Didier Fassin
The country is usually considered as an summary and impartial bureaucratic entity. by contrast good judgment notion, At the center of the State argues that it's also a concrete and positioned fact, 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 booklet describes and analyses the police, the courtroom process, the felony equipment, the social providers, and psychological healthiness amenities in France. Combining family tree and ethnography, its authors convey that those nation associations don't easily enforce legislation, principles 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 an immense contribution to the ever increasing literature at the modern state.
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Extra resources for At the Heart of the State: The Moral World of Institutions
Second, it is closely linked to the constraints imposed on police activity. The function of social control assigned to this form of prosecution explains why it was used in the last decades and privileged over any other type of public action in the service of the fight against crime as it became a major political issue. With in flagrante delicto, the state management of social problems related to the modern condition (mobility, insecurity, urban marginality) acquired a penal dimension. This trend continues under the form of immediate appearance trials, even though the realities to which the social exclusion refers have since changed.
This was when they found a packet of lunch vouchers not in the name of the accused. They arrested the man and took him to the police station. We should now briefly reconstruct what came next. The suspect was placed in custody, that is to say, held in a police cell where his statement was taken by a judicial police officer. The latter then passed along his report to the jurisdiction’s prosecutor. The case of Mr. Traoré (the charges against him, his statements, his behavior, his criminal record) and the cases of all those held in custody that night were outlined over the phone to the deputy prosecutor who determined the nature of the offenses and what legal action to take each time: release with a summons THE RIGHT TO PUNISH 27 to appear before a criminal court or a plea bargaining commission (the defendant then agrees to “plead guilty” in the context of a simplified procedure without an adversarial trial); remand to custody and the ordering of an investigation; immediate appearance trial within 48 hours after arrest, etc.
Beginning in 1864, the procedure acquired a stable form, which lasted for more than a century until the reforms of the 1980s. In addition to this procedural stability, there also exists a consistency in the social uses of this prosecutorial form, as shown by the homogeneity of the population it affects. When immediate appearance trials were first instituted in the early 1980s, René Lévy observed that the penal clientele affected by this procedure was becoming increasingly younger and beginning to include more and more immigrants.