Feminist Legal Studies

, Volume 25, Issue 3, pp 385–387 | Cite as

Anette Ballinger: Gender, Truth and State Power: Capitalising on Punishment

London, Routledge, 2016, pp. 139, ISBN: 978-0-7546-7478-8
  • Lizzie SealEmail author
Book Review

Anette Ballinger’s new book follows up her ground breaking Dead Woman Walking (2000), which provided a feminist analysis of the cases of all fifteen of the women executed in England and Wales, 1900–1955. This has been a touchstone for historians, criminologists and socio-legal scholars interested in women and execution, and gender and punishment more widely. Particularly crucial was Ballinger’s interrogation, and transcendence of, the ‘leniency versus harshness’ debate in relation to women and the death penalty (which is also relevant to other forms of punishment) and her finding that where women had murdered adults, they were actually less likely to be reprieved than were men.

Gender, Truth and State Powercontinues the work established in Ballinger’s earlier text of using a feminist standpoint perspective to deconstruct the law’s truth claims and to find alternative truths by uncovering subjugated knowledge. This is illustrated particularly clearly in the chapter on Louie Calvert,...


  1. Ballinger, A. 2000. Dead woman walking: Executed women in England and Wales, 1900–1955. Aldershot: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  2. Grey, D. 2010. Women’s policy networks and the infanticide act 1922. Twentieth Century British History 21 (4): 441–463.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of SussexBrightonUK

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