By Andrew Dilts
"This ebook supplies a theoretical and old account of felon disenfranchisement, exhibiting deep connections among punishment and citizenship practices within the usa. those connections are deployed quietly and but perniciously as a part of a political approach of white supremacy, shaping modern regimes of punishment and governance"--
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Additional info for Punishment and inclusion : race, membership, and the limits of American liberalism
The standard form of the argument is limited to the case of ex-felons. Approaching disenfranchisement as a purely normative question has obscured what we can learn about American politics (and the principles governing it) from the fact that we do engage in a practice that looks like a prima facie contradiction of our principles, and moreover we are not sure if the normative question is properly about punishment, citizenship, or both. We need to understand how disenfranchisement is a productive failure.
At the practical level, I argue that felon disenfranchisement is productive of the same ﬁgures it seeks to negotiate—the felon, the citizen, and the state. Disenfranchisement does something that “we” might need but that our political commitments also expressly exclude. At the discursive level, I argue against reading punishment and citizenship as distinct spheres. This deep connection is borne out in historical analysis through attention to the meaning of suﬀrage in the United States and its linkages to punitive institutions and practices.
Rather than simply existing alongside or being sometimes complicit with illiberal accounts of the subject, criminal disenfranchisement points out that such ascriptive accounts exist at the core of liberalism. It is my contention that the “paradox” of liberalism’s tension with racial ascription ceases to be paradoxical if we take into account its conception of punishment. ) but also through punishment’s production or fabrication of the liberal subject. ” And in the American context, this exclusionary nature has been linked to the formation of race and a racial caste system.