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contributions for a debate about the
social goals of justice institutions
António Pedro Dores, June 2004
Dep. Sociologia e CIES / ISCTE, Lisboa -Portugal
Practical problem
 At least half of inmates world wide participate
in drug market
 Struggle against drug addicted has been
 World economy is drug addict
 What is prohibicionism as a social process?
Sociological problem
 How homeopathic institutional judicial
interventions organize (in)security feelings
and (des)order?
Sociological hypothesis
 Justice modern dogmatic goals should not be
accepted as part of social theory
 Justice should not be understood as
superstructure but as infrastructure
 Justice should be understood as a weberian
way of disposing social violence, using it
 Quotidian prohibitions should be understand
as institutional violence menace serving
social parties against another parties
 Justice institutions serve political design
 Justice is another way to proceed with
politics, even – or because – the state powers
separation democratic principal
 Specialized law (commercial, labour, criminal,
fiscal) has to match and has to manipulate
different kinds of social relationships
 Each kind of law and jurisprudence are used
to control market boarders and social actors
 Expanding criminal law (as “drug war” does)
means more legal violence against excluded
people and less liberty degrees available
 Prison systems all over the world serves
prohibitionist global policy
 Prison system is part of the institutional
apparatus of neo-liberal violence against
excluded people
 Prison Reform must be a moral discussion on
civilizational political goals
 Modernity structure
(infra-structure-violence vs super-structure-control)
 Maintenance and transformation
(social movements vs institutions)
 Prohibitions as judicial manipulation of judicial