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Andrew Woolford and R.S. Ratner

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Nomadic Justice? Restorative Justice on the Margins of Law

Social movement theory is a concern of this article on “Nomadic Justice.” It addresses the danger that restorative justice programs might become simply cost-effective extensions of the neoliberal state, rather than genuinely progressive actors on the margins of the law. The article examines the tensions within the restorative justice movement, particularly in British Columbia, as it seeks to construct for itself a collective identity and define its broader goals. This movement of professional “outsiders within” the criminal justice system might engage in a “transformative politics” of restorative justice that challenges and rewrites the system’s retributive codes.

restorative justice — Canada; Canada — criminal justice; informal justice; cooptation; communitarianism; social movements — new social movement theory; subaltern groups

Citation: Social Justice Vol. 30, No. 1 (2003): 177-194