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Death penalty discourses and the U.K. polity: A critical analysis

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In this paper I investigate the lack of public participation and consequent democratic deficit on the issue of the death penalty in the United Kingdom (henceforth the U.K.). I critically analyse the institutions and practices of the U.K. polity, and several parliamentary contributions to the death penalty discourses around abolition in 1964/65 and in 1994, the last debate to date on the issue in the U.K. parliament. Consequently, I argue that a range of causal tendencies operating in the polity are responsible for the lack of public participation and hence democratic deficit on this and other issues. And while I am sympathetic with present abolitionist penal policy, I nevertheless argue that these tendencies constitute dominatory practice.
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Keywords: CDA; death penalty; explanatory critique; the polity

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2012

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