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Just-in-Time Justice: Globalization and the Changing Character of Law, Order, and Power

Abstract

This article examines how economic globalization has dialectically interacted with the nation-state and legal order to facilitate the production of “just-in-time justice”—the increasingly flexible character of law, order, and power. Utilizing Chambliss’s analytic strategy, particularly his dialectical approach to lawmaking, I first examine the relationship between the global social order, economic globalization, and the changing architecture of nation-states. I then explore ways that the legal order has been flexibilized, including the creation of “states of exception,” the privatization of social control functions of the state, the development of transnational spaces for governance, and the widespread use of surveillance. My analysis of these transformations suggests that the greatest danger in the contemporary moment may be what we do not know, what is hidden from public accountability, beyond the public gaze. Importantly, this analysis also highlights that law continues to matter—or else there would not be such a press to ensure its disappearance.

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Acknowledgments

In addition to his intellectual legacy, I offer a special note of appreciation to Bill Chambliss for his gifts of shared music-making, laughter, and friendship. I also wish to thank the Prato Collective, sponsored by Monash University, Australia, for creating the international intellectual space in which some of the ideas contained here were first conceived.

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Correspondence to Nancy A. Wonders.

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Wonders, N.A. Just-in-Time Justice: Globalization and the Changing Character of Law, Order, and Power. Crit Crim 24, 201–216 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10612-015-9305-4

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Keywords

  • Legal Order
  • Transnational Corporation
  • Critical Criminologist
  • Democratic Accountability
  • Private Contractor