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Radical Philosophy Today

Volume 5, 2007

Democracy, Racism, and Prisons

Mechthild Nagel
Pages 229-235

In Search of Abolition Democracy

This paper focuses on the meaning of Du Bois’s concept of “abolition democracy” and on the ideology of the abstract rights-bearing subject. In Abolition Democracy, Angela Y. Davis calls for the abolition of oppressive institutions, such as U.S. prisons, in order to engender abolition democracy. She also questions how subjects appear before the law, which justifies and normalizes inhumane practices, such as the death penalty. In conclusion, the paper explores ideas on how to conceptualize thinking “beyond” the prison industrial complex not only in North America but globally.

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