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Death and Other PenaltiesPhilosophy in a Time of Mass Incarceration$
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Geoffrey Adelsberg, Lisa Guenther, and Scott Zeman

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780823265299

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823265299.001.0001

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Without the Right to Exist

Without the Right to Exist

Mass Incarceration and National Security

(p.193) Without the Right to Exist
Death and Other Penalties

Andrea Smith

Fordham University Press

This chapter critiques the debate over national security and civil liberties from a prison abolitionist perspective. It argues that the elision of mass incarceration within even progressive responses to the war on terror rests on the assumption that the nation-state has an unquestioned right to assist. As a result, the equating of “national security” with the well-being of the government rather than the governed erases from concern the perpetual premature deaths that enable this security. Rather than presuming that the only form of governance that exists is a biopolitical state in which some must be sacrificed so that the “nation” can live, new forms of security can be built by developing movements that create new nonbiopolitical forms of governance that ensure the well-being of all peoples.

Keywords:   national security, civil liberties, prison abolition, national security, mass incarceration, biopolitical state, governance

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