Archaeology: Surfaces of Emergence for the Public Confidence Agenda

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


Turner shows that the shape taken by the public confidence agenda has ‘conditions of existence’, including the following: (1) increasing separation between the public and the criminal justice system makes it necessary for the public to have confidence in justice, rather than witnessing this first-hand; (2) an understanding of the criminal justice system as legitimately oriented towards the production of effects, which grants ‘experts’ priority in knowing about and accurately and objectively representing the reality of crime and justice; and (3) a political system which incentivises aspiring political leaders to treat public perceptions of policy and practice as centrally important and encourages them to see such perceptions as able to be accurately captured by aggregating opinion surveys. These conditions of existence have emerged through historical changes, including the following: (1) professionalisation of criminal justice limiting opportunities for public participation; (2) a shift towards an instrumental orientation of transforming individuals; and (3) the change to universal adult suffrage creating new expectations for accountability, and, increasingly, managerialist regimes using quantitative performance indicators.


Foucault, archaeology of knowledge Penal reform Genealogy Modernist criminology Managerialism New Public Management Victimization surveys British Crime Survey Left realism Public confidence in criminal justice 


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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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