BJS 2009 Public Lecture Podcast: Loïc Wacquant-Bringing the Penal State Back In

Loïc Wacquant spoke at the recent BJS Public Lecture on Tuesday 6th October at the LSE. Loïc Wacquant draws on classical theory, social history, and a comparative analysis of the penalization of urban poverty in advanced societies at the century’s turn to argue that we need to bring the penal state back to the centre of the sociology of social inequality, public policy and citizenship.

Wacquant is currently a Professor of Sociology and Research Associate at the Earl Warren Legal Institute, University of California, Berkeley, where he is also affiliated with the Program in Medical Anthropology and the Center for Urban Ethnography, and Researcher at the Centre de sociologie européenne in Paris. He has been a member of the Harvard Society of Fellows, a MacArthur Prize Fellow, and has won numerous grants including the Fletcher Foundation Fellowship and the Lewis Coser Award of the American Sociological Society.

Wacquant’s most recent book Punishing the Poor: The Neoliberal Government of Social Insecurity (2009) is just out from Duke University Press.

Justice with Michael Sandael

Harvard University are in the process of releasing Michael Sandel’s course Justice as a webcast.  It is a very well delivered introduction to political theory, from one of the worlds best teachers.   As the site says:

Justice is one of the most popular courses in Harvard’s history.  Nearly one thousand students pack Harvard’s historic Sanders Theatre to hear Professor Sandel talk about justice, equality, democracy, and citizenship. Now it’s your turn to take the same journey in moral reflection that has captivated more than 14,000 students, as Harvard opens its classroom to the world.

This course aims to help viewers become more critically minded thinkers about the moral decisions we all face in our everyday lives.  In this 12-part series, Sandel challenges us with difficult moral dilemmas and asks our opinion about the right thing to do.  He then asks us to examine our answers in the light of new scenarios.  The result is often surprising, revealing that important moral questions are never black and white.  Sorting out these contradictions sharpens our own moral convictions and gives us the moral clarity to better understand the opposing views we confront in a democracy.

Part one is below.  The rest of the videos are available here.  The site also includes reading material and discussion guides for each lecture.