[Book Review] Law, Insecurity and Risk Control: Neoliberal Governance and the Populist Revolt. By John Pratt (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020, 387pp., £79 Hbk)

Phoenix, Jo (2022). [Book Review] Law, Insecurity and Risk Control: Neoliberal Governance and the Populist Revolt. By John Pratt (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020, 387pp., £79 Hbk). The British Journal of Criminology, 62(3) pp. 790–792.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/bjc/azab083

Abstract

Law, Insecurity and Risk Control is a book for our time. In broad terms, Pratt’s book uses the lens of risk and security to explore how ‘in the name of progress’ and in order to create ‘better societies’, in the aftermath of the Second World War, governments ended up creating fractured, profoundly unequal, often undemocratic and unjust societies. His focus is New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. The specific aim of Law, Insecurity and Risk Control is ‘to examine and explain how the security sanction, which did not have any legitimate place in these societies before the 1980s, has come into existence and has since performed its vital roles and functions, while at the same time rewriting our understandings of both human rights and the limits of criminal law and punishment in democratic societies’ (p. 12).

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