School of Social and Political Sciences - Research Publications
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ItemImperial legacies and southern penal spaces: A study of hunting nomads in postcolonial IndiaBrown, M ; Jadhav, VK ; Raghavan, V ; Sinha, M (SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD, 2021-12-01)Southern penal spaces are marked by resemblances and affinities with colonial regimes of control, yet they also reflect quite distinctive postcolonial social and political dynamics found in the global south. Here, legacies of control, forms of exile, status reductions, hierarchical social stratifications and other like forms come together in robust modes of containment suitable for managing ‘marginal’ and ‘suspect’ populations. We draw on ethnographic empirical work with two hunting nomadic groups in India by two of the co-authors who are working with the Kheria Sabar community in Purulia district in West Bengal and Pardhi community in Mumbai. The latter were subject to notification under the notorious Criminal Tribes Act 1871, marking them out as ‘criminal tribes’ until their de-notification shortly after India's independence in 1947, yet the Kheria Sabars too feel its effects. We draw attention here to the continual negotiation and (re)fabrication of both state and citizen at the point of their everyday contact. Our notion of southern penal spaces contributes to penal theory by breaking from northern societies’ focus on institutional carcerality and capturing instead both the variety and the dispersal of penal and punitive practices found in postcolonial societies of the south.
ItemTruth and Method in Southern CriminologyBrown, M (Springer, 2021)What does it mean to “do” southern criminology? What does this entail and what demands should it place on us as criminologists ethically and methodologically? This article addresses such questions through a form dialogue between the Global North and the Global South. At the enter of this dialogue is a set of questions about ethical conduct in the pursuit of knowledge and understanding in human relations. These develop into a conversation that engages South Asian scholars working at the forefront of critical social science, history and theory with a foundational text of European hermeneuticist theory and practice, Hans-Georg Gadamer’s Truth and Method, published in 1960. Out of this exercise in communication across culture, histories and knowledge practices emerges a new kind of dialogue and a new way of thinking about ethical practice in criminology. To give such abstractions a concrete reference point, the article illustrates their possibilities and tensions through a case study of penal reform and the question of whether so- called “failed” Northern penal methods - like the prison should be exported to the Global South. The article thus works dialogically back and forth through these scholars’ accounts of ethical conduct, research practice, the weight of history, and the work of theory with a very concrete and common criminological context in sight. The result is what might be understood as a norm of ethical engagement and an epistemology of dialogue.
ItemPostcolonial penality: Liberty and repression in the shadow of independence, India c. 1947Brown, M (SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD, 2017-05-01)This article reports primary archival data on the colonial penal history of British India and its reconfiguration into the postcolonial Indian state. It introduces criminologists to frameworks through which postcolonial scholars have sought to make sense of the continuities and discontinuities of rule across the colonial/postcolonial divide. The article examines the postcolonial life of one example of colonial penal power, known as the criminal tribes policy, under which more than three million Indian subjects of British rule were restricted in their movements, subject to a host of administrative rules and sometimes severe punishments, sequestered in settlements and limited in access to legal redress. It illustrates how at the birth of the postcolonial Indian state, encompassing visions of a liberal, unfettered and free life guaranteed in a new Constitution and charter of Fundamental Rights, freedom for some was to prove as elusive as citizens as it had been as subjects.
Item"An Unqualified Human Good"? On Rule of Law, Globalization, and ImperialismBrown, M (Wiley, 2018)Forty years ago, E. P. Thompson praised the English rule of law forged during the bloody and fractious eighteenth century, calling it not only “an unqualified human good,” but also a “cultural achievement of universal significance.” This article examines colonial rule-of-law development as another example of law and state building. Both have relevance for contemporary rule-of-law programming in the Global South where Thompson’s “cultural achievement” has resisted fabrication by legal technicians. The problems faced today are not new, for colonial rulers also engaged with complex indigenous norms and forms and sought to balance universal principles with political control imperatives. Contra arguments about colonial “lawfare,” colonial rule of law often frustrated authoritarian tendencies while developing new forms of legal subjectivity and avenues for redress of grievances. Using data from the Indian province of Punjab, the article illustrates how historical case studies might aid contemporary rule-of-law programming in the Global South.
ItemMentoring, Social Capital and Desistance: A Study of Women Released from PrisonBrown, M ; Ross, S (SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD, 2010-04-01)Mentoring ex-prisoners is an increasingly popular tool in the burgeoning field of offender reintegration and resettlement. Yet surprisingly little is known about what makes mentoring effective and indeed even whether it can be effective within the domain of criminal justice. This article proceeds in two parts. First, drawing upon desistance theory it attempts to develop a theoretical underpinning for mentoring practice with ex-offenders that would identify appropriate targets for mentoring practice, including the development of social capital or connectedness. Part two of the article utilises data from research on a women's mentoring program in Victoria, Australia, to understand how one key dimension of desistance — social capital — is recognised by women as a domain of need and those women's perceptions of the way mentoring may deliver gains in social connectedness and capital. The article concludes with a discussion of the distinctly gendered nature of women's postprison experiences and the way in which these factors shape both the process of desistance and the nature of mentoring interventions.
ItemThe Pathways Model of Assault A Qualitative Analysis of the Assault Offender and OffenseChambers, JC ; Ward, T ; Eccleston, L ; Brown, M (SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC, 2009-09-01)Research on offending behavior rehabilitation suggests that offenders would gain the maximum benefit from programs that reflect the individual needs of different types of offender. Multivariate theories of offending behavior are thus required to inform individualized rehabilitation. The aim of the current study was to construct a multivariate model for the prolific offense of assault. Qualitative methodology was used to construct a descriptive model of assault for 25 adult assault offenders. The model incorporated the development of violent behavior, types of anger, violence motivation, and the assault offense. The model consisted of 14 categories, 10 of which allowed for individual differences in behavior. A total of 35 participant transcripts were then coded through the model where the individual differences occurred. Five main offense types were found. The characteristics of the types of assault offense gave indications for how rehabilitation may be targeted for each group.
ItemCrime, liberalism and empire: Governing the Mina tribe of northern IndiaBrown, M (SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD, 2004-06-01)Cultural analyses of empire inspired by Edward Said’s Orientalism (1978) have focused on certain artefacts of imperial thought, representing them as emblematic of a totalizing Orientalist discourse. This article examines one such case in nineteenthcentury India: the identification and legal notification of communities as Criminal Tribes. Taking the case of the Mina tribe of northern India, an attempt is made to illustrate how strategies like the criminal tribes policy fall far short of reflecting some broad and monolithic approach to governance. By examining the divergent views of orthodox and authoritarian strains within British liberalism, and showing how they were directly reflected in quite different approaches to governing the Minas, the article reveals the criminal tribesman as less an archetype of British crime control strategy than the product of a limited and partial examination of the colonial archive. It is hoped that the present investigation of the case of the Mina tribe will provide a more complex and sophisticated understanding of the doctrines and strategies under which Britain governed its empire.