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Kropotkin and the anarchist case for prison abolition

chapter
posted on 2024-01-10, 15:40 authored by Ruth KinnaRuth Kinna
This chapter examines the anarchist case for abolition by analysing the Peter Kropotkin’s In French and Russian Prisons (1887), perhaps the most influential historical critique. Using themes of environment, culture and social relationships, I discuss his account, explain his scepticism about reform and explain why he concluded that the only sensible answer to the question ‘are prisons necessary?’ was ‘no’. The final section follows the trajectory of two lines of Kropotkin’s abolitionist thesis in anarchist thought. The first ‘environmental’ strand focuses on the systemic injustices that incentivise wrongdoing and the second ‘ethical’ thread emphasises the faultiness of the concept of crime. The argument is that both underwrite the anarchist case for prison abolition.

History

School

  • Social Sciences and Humanities

Department

  • International Relations, Politics and History

Published in

Abolitionist Voices

Publisher

Bristol University Press

Version

  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This is a post-peer-review, pre-copy edited version of an extract/chapter published in Abolitionist Voices. Details of the definitive published version and how to purchase it are available online at: https://bristoluniversitypress.co.uk/abolitionist-voices

Language

  • en

Editor(s)

David Scott

Depositor

Prof Ruth Kinna. Deposit date: 3 January 2024

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