Dr Chloe Peacock

Research Topic Title: Justifying ‘Justice’: Tracing the role of ignorance in the cultural politics of punishment in the UK

My research explores the cultural and ideological processes that underpin contemporary criminal justice policy and practices.

Reflecting on the 10-year anniversary of the 2011 English ‘riots’, this ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship asks how different forms of ignorance enabled and legitimised the state’s swift and startlingly punitive social penal and social policy reactions to the unrest, which disproportionately targeted young people from minoritised and marginalised backgrounds. Drawing on qualitative interviews with prosecutors, sentencers and policymakers who were responsible for designing and delivering this response, alongside critical analysis of media and political discourse, my project examines the narratives, assumptions and claims that they mobilised to justify and normalise the violent and discriminatory backlash to the unrest.

In doing so, my work aims to deepen our understanding of the multifaceted role of denial, amnesia, silence and secrecy in maintaining and legitimising racialised regimes of punishment.

Mentor: Dr Elspeth Van Veeren


Tinsley, M, S Habib, C Peacock, R Ramsden-Karelse, and G Younge (2021) ‘White Supremacy’s Monuments: On the Removal of Robert E. Lee’ Race.Ed

Peacock, C (2021) ‘Ten years after the English riots, the government is still in denial about racism’ The Guardian

Peacock, C (2021) ‘A meaningful debate about statues is happening – the government just doesn’t seem to be taking part’ The Conversation

Habib, S, C Peacock, R Ramsden-Karelse and M Tinsley (2021) ‘The Changing Shape of Cultural Activism: Legislating Statues in the Context of the Black Lives Matter Movement’ CoDE/Runnymede briefing

Peacock, C (2019) ‘Curative, regenerating, redemptive and liberating? The systematic production of ignorance in Michael Gove’s rhetoric on prison reform at a time of crisis’ Crime, Media, Culture 15 (1): 89-105

Peacock, C (2017) ‘Reflecting on the moral economies of debt and punishment’ The Sociological Review

Peacock, C (2017) ‘Tracing imperial nostalgia at Cumberland Lodge’ Streetsigns

Peacock, C (2014) ‘Remembering the riots: Citizenship and ‘social cleansing’ after the London riots of 2011’ The Howard League for Penal Reform

Peacock, C (2014) ‘Territorial stigma and regeneration in Tottenham’ Open Democracy

Email: c.peacock@bristol.ac.uk

Twitter: @chloepeacock87