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Deconstructing Public Confidence: The Public Confidence Agenda as a Governmental Project

  • Elizabeth R. Turner
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Part of the Critical Criminological Perspectives book series (CCRP)

Abstract

In order to produce knowledge about confidence, researchers use ‘procedures of intervention’ that come between the things to be known and representations of those things: this constitutes a ‘violation’. All knowledge, whether derived from a survey or a deliberative process, involves researchers choosing procedures that violate what they study. The decisions they make, then, are about how to violate reality in order to arrive at knowledge. The dominant approach to public confidence research constructs a hierarchy of objects: reality, representations, perceptions, feelings. The solution to the confidence problem is understood as that of correcting perceptions through better representations of reality. This dominant conceptualisation of public confidence privileges expert ways of knowing. Deliberative approaches, promoting dialogue, are unfairly dismissed as unable to access the ‘reality’ of public opinion. But this view fails to acknowledge that all ways of knowing about public opinion must produce the phenomenon they go on to represent.

Keywords

Foucault Governmentality Public confidence in criminal justice Media distortion of crime Public understanding of criminal justice Public knowledge Deliberative methods 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth R. Turner
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LiverpoolLiverpoolUK

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