Law depends on various modes of classification. How an act or a person is classified may be crucial in determining the rights obtained, the procedures employed, and what understandings get attached to the act or person. Critiques of law often reveal how arbitrary its classificatory acts are, but no one doubts their power and consequence. This crucial new book considers the problem of law's physical control of persons and the ways in which this control illuminates competing visions of the law: as both a tool of regulation and an instrument of coercion or punishment. It examines various instances of punishment and regulation to illustrate points of overlap and difference between them, and captures the lived experience of the state's enterprise of subjecting human conduct to the governance of rules. Ultimately, the essays call into question the adequacy of a view of punishment and/or regulation that neglects the perspectives of those who are at the receiving end of these exercises of state power.
Austin Sarat is the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence and Political Science at Amherst College. Lawrence Douglas is James J. Grosfeld Professor of Law, Jurisprudence, and Social Thought at Amherst College. Martha Merrill Umphrey is Professor of Law, Jurisprudence, and Social Thought at Amherst College.