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Marc Schuilenburg

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The Securitization of Society: On the Rise of Quasi-Criminal Law and Selective Exclusion

The article discusses new initiatives to prevent crime and disorder in The Netherlands, including intervention teams and the collective shop ban. The author argues that these initiatives confronts us with a type of thinking about “governing” life and people’s living conditions (bios), specifically in terms of regulation and risk. To explain the prevailing rationale, the author focuses on the relation between crime control and contemporary neoliberalism. In doing so, the article provides an account of the key aspects of Foucault’s lectures, “Sécurité, territoire, population” and “Naissance de la biopolitique” at the Collège de France between January 11, 1978, and April 4, 1979. In these lectures, Foucault introduces a new form of power, which he refers to as sécurité. In this context, the author speaks of the rise of “quasi-criminal law” and shows how controlling life in the public space of the city is exerted further and further without a clearly defined objective or limit.

neoliberal governance, Foucault, quasi-criminal law

Citation: Social Justice Vol. 38, Nos. 1-2 (2011-12): 73-89.

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