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The Force of Law (Groundwork Guides Series)
     

The Force of Law (Groundwork Guides Series)

by Mariana Valverde
 

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As citizens of liberal democratic countries, we think that we live under the rule of law. Governments make the rules, we live by them, and the police enforce them. The Force of Law critically examines these assumptions. Criminologist Mariana Valverde makes clear that while the law is usually regarded as the civilized, nonviolent way to deal with harms and

Overview

As citizens of liberal democratic countries, we think that we live under the rule of law. Governments make the rules, we live by them, and the police enforce them. The Force of Law critically examines these assumptions. Criminologist Mariana Valverde makes clear that while the law is usually regarded as the civilized, nonviolent way to deal with harms and conflicts, violence is integral to it. Police are authorized to handcuff, tase, and even kill people; courts of law confine people to prison and, in some countries, the state can put people to death. The Force of Law stimulates readers to become more informed about law and law enforcement and more active in efforts to make policing accountable to the public.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 10 Up—These books have a Canadian focus. Steven makes a strong case for the power of the news media to shape our thinking about national and world events. What is presented and how it is described is often influenced by the corporations that own the media, the advertisers, or, in some countries, the government. The author encourages readers to be alert to these allegiances and come to their own conclusions based on the facts given. He stresses the need for ethical journalists to question their choice of stories and how to write them and explains that citizen "journalists" now add to the information pool by posting on blogs, Wikinews, YouTube, and Twitter. Valverde challenges our assumptions about the rule of law and the reality of what police really spend their time doing. According to her, they maintain order and use violence when deemed necessary. It is important that the rule of law is based on accountability. Citizen oversight should be utilized to ensure that law-enforcement practices promote democracy. The history of British law is described in greater detail than U.S. law. Both titles have a sociological approach, but no charts or illustrations, and readers are left wanting more examples regarding complaints about the limitation of the news and the need to improve local police protection.—Peggy Fleming, formerly at Churchville-Chili High School, Churchville, NY
VOYA - Lucy Schall
Written by recognized professionals in their fields, the books in the Groundwork Guides series present a definite point of view, usually anti-establishment, on social and political topics of international interest. The Force of Law, written from an academic, rather than hands-on perspective, establishes a relationship between law and violence, and explores how enforcement becomes entangled in abuse, social norms, police rights, political territories, and media exploitation. Ultimately, Valverde deals with the difficult but necessary responsibility of transparency and accountability, but emphasizes the community's responsibility in establishing a proactive system of communication and oversight to prevent emotional overreactions to "undesirable" events and groups. The volume includes highlighted support information and examples within the text, and extensive resources for further reference that support the author's viewpoint, including many Web sites. It will promote lively discussion, but readers should pursue other sources presenting conflicting points of view. Reviewer: Lucy Schall

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780888998187
Publisher:
Groundwood Books
Publication date:
04/27/2010
Series:
Groundwork Guides Series
Pages:
144
Product dimensions:
4.90(w) x 6.90(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile:
1410L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

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