Groundwood Books

The Force of Law

A Groundwork Guide Groundwork Guides

Written by Mariana Valverde • Series edited by Jane Springer

For students in grades - 9 | Published May 01, 2010 | ISBN 9781554982233

Cover of The Force of Law

Regular price $9.95 CAD

144 pages
Digital Format

Also Available in Print

About this book

The Force of Law

A Groundwork Guide

Groundwork Guides

Mariana Valverde • Jane Springer

"[The Groundwork Guides] are excellent books, mandatory for school libraries and the increasing body of young people prepared to take ownership of the situations and problems previous generations have left them." -- Globe and Mail

Most of us in liberal democratic countries think that we live under the rule of law. Governments make the rules, we live by them and the police enforce them if we try to break them. The Force of Law critically examines these assumptions.

Award-winning criminologist Mariana Valverde makes clear that while the law is usually regarded as the civilized, non-violent way to deal with harms and conflicts, violence is integral to law. After all, police are authorized to handcuff, manhandle, taser, and even kill people, and courts of law confine people to prison and, in some countries, order that they be put to death. Valverde shows that "proper" law is not always distinguishable from the rules imposed by various bodies of armed men. Worldwide, private security guards often act like police, but they serve their private clients, not the public at large. And publicly paid police officers spend much of their time managing information for other bureaucracies, instead of actually fighting crime or arresting criminals.

About the Creators

Mariana Valverde

Mariana Valverde is the author of several books and the director of the University of Toronto's Centre of Criminology. She lives in Toronto, Ontario.

Jane Springer

Jane Springer is an author and consultant in international development. She lives in Toronto.