Law and Philosophy

, Volume 38, Issue 1, pp 53–77 | Cite as

The Nature of Retributive Justice and Its Demands on the State

  • Richard L. LippkeEmail author


The enterprise of state punishment requires the use of limited resources for which there are other competitors, such as national defense, market regulation, and social welfare. How resource-demanding retributive justice will turn out to be depends on how retributivists answer a series of questions concerning the theory’s structure. After elaborating these questions and the varieties of retributive justice that answers to them might generate, I consider the resource demands of retributive justice in the context of competing theories of distributive justice. Various tensions and outright conflicts between the pursuit of retributive and distributive justice are then explored.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Criminal JusticeIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA

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