Pub. Date:
Columbia University Press
The Police Power: Patriarchy and the Foundations of American Government

The Police Power: Patriarchy and the Foundations of American Government

by Markus Dirk Dubber
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Mention the phrase Homeland Security and heated debates emerge about state uses and abuses of legal authority. This timely book is a comprehensive treatise on the constitutional and legal history behind the power of the modern state to police its citizens.

Dubber explores the roots of the power to police—the most expansive and least limitable of governmental powers—by focusing on its most obvious and problematic manifestation: criminal law. He argues that the defining characteristics of this power, including the inability to accurately define it, reflect its origins in the discretionary and virtually limitless patriarchal power of the householder over his household. The paradox of patriarchal police power as the most troubling yet least scrutinized of governmental powers can begin to be resolved by subjecting this branch of government to the critical analysis it merits. Dubber shows us that the question must become how can the police power and criminal law together serve the goals of social equity that define and give direction to contemporary democratic societies? This book goes to the heart of this neglected but crucial topic.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780231132077
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 09/07/2005
Series: None Series
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Markus Dirk Dubber is professor of law and director of the Buffalo Criminal Law Center at the State University of New York, Buffalo. He is the author of Victims in the War on Crime: The Use and Abuse of Victims'Rights, American Criminal Law (with Mark Kelman) and Criminal Law: Model Penal Code.

Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsIntroduction: "The Power to Govern Men and Things"Part I. From Household Governance to Political Economy 1. Police as Patria Potestas2. Blackstone's Police3. Continental Police SciencePart II. American Police Power 4. Policing the New Republic5. Definition by Exclusion6. Police Power and Commerce PowerPart III. Police, Law, Criminal Law 7. The Forgotten Power and the Problem of Legitimation8. The Law of Police: Internal and External Constraints9. Lochner's Law and Substantive Due ProcessConclusion: Toward a Critical Analysis of Police and PunishmentIndex

What People are Saying About This

Lindsay Farmer

One of the most important recent books about the criminal law. It combines a grasp of historical detail with a sustained critical engagement with the significance of the police power to legal and political thought and institutions. By reading the history of criminal law through its origins in the police power, Dubber not only reopens the field of police science, but also challenges historians and lawyers to rethink many of the conventional understandings of the discipline.

James Q. Whitman

A remarkable learned tour through the history of human coercion, and a plea for a criminal law that embraces once and for all the values of autonomy, this is a book by a leading figure in American criminal law scholarship.

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