Part of the Palgrave Socio-Legal Studies book series (PSLS)


The unique argument developed in this book is that the criminal courtroom, specifically in rape cases, needs to be reconceptualised as a complex system and an ‘affective assemblage’. We argue, for the first time, that a move beyond representational theory and towards new materialism and affects, which emphasises the importance of the ‘ontological intensive regime’, enables a more informed and realistic understanding of courtroom dynamics and the practices of barristers. This, in turn, impacts upon the implementation and utilisation of well-meaning reform measures and policies. In this first chapter, we introduce the philosophical framework and key concepts, which synthesises the work of Deleuze, Deleuze and Guattari and complexity science and theory. Thereafter, we set out the empirical and theoretical methodologies and briefly explain the criminal justice, law and policy context as it relates to rape.


Reconceptualising the courtroom New materialism and affect theory Affective assemblage Methodologies Problem field and phase space Criminal justice responses to rape 


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Case List

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of LiverpoolLiverpoolUK
  2. 2.Institute for Applied Health ResearchUniversity of BirminghamBirminghamUK
  3. 3.Liverpool Hope UniversityLiverpoolUK

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