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Legitimacy and Criminal JusticeAn International Exploration$
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Justice Tankebe and Alison Liebling

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780198701996

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198701996.001.0001

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The Situated Production Of Legitimacy: Perspectives From The Global South

The Situated Production Of Legitimacy: Perspectives From The Global South

(p.248) 12 The Situated Production Of Legitimacy: Perspectives From The Global South
Legitimacy and Criminal Justice

Andrew M. Jefferson

Oxford University Press

Criminal justice institutions in transitional countries are subjected to perennial critique often using methods which question their legitimacy. In turn, the legitimacy of reform agencies — which is rarely questioned — is arguably contingent on the illegitimacy of those institutions they subject to critique and seek to change. Legitimacy in such cases is not merely dialogical or perpetually at stake but constitutive. This chapter seeks to push our understanding of legitimacy as dialogical even further by posing questions about how it is produced in practice through the entangled relations between reformers and prisons in transitional countries. Instead of thinking about legitimacy through the relatively static terms of power-holders and audiences — implying possession and imposition — this chapter rests on and explores the premise that legitimacy is best understood through analysis of its production in practice.

Keywords:   legitimacy, dialogic, Sierra Leone

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