Chapter 2 There Is No Escape: Constrained Tales of Sovereign Practice and Relations

  • Andrew M. Jefferson
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Prisons and Penology book series (PSIPP)


This chapter features analysis of two escape narratives, one an intimate, first-hand account of an escape from a UK prison and the other an account based on a public enquiry into a mass escape from a prison in Sierra Leone, West Africa. The analysis shows how escapes are a feature of imprisonment through which sovereign power, authority and legitimacy are contested, claimed and performed, and implies that more attention to sovereign relations would be a useful supplement to recent theorizing on sovereign practice. Sovereignty, the tales affirm, is not given but negotiated. Both tales illustrate the contingency of sovereignty and the way it is always an effect of social practice and relations rather than an expression of will.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew M. Jefferson
    • 1
  1. 1.DIGNITY—Danish Institute Against TortureCopenhagen ØDenmark

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