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Measuring Justice
Quantitative Accountability and the National Prosecuting Authority in South Africa

$88.00 USD

Part of Cambridge Studies in Law and Society

  • Date Published: June 2019
  • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • format: Adobe eBook Reader
  • isbn: 9781108592499

$ 88.00 USD
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About the Authors
  • Measuring Justice explores the ways in which South African court and managerial prosecutors deal with the quantification of social phenomena - such as justice, professional work or accountability - and address the radical simplifications of their inherent complexities, misrepresentations and editing as a consequence. While various studies show the concern of professionals about the damaging effects these quantitative forms of accountability have on the creativity, freedom and collaborative nature of expert systems, Mugler shows that the reactions and attitudes of these legal professionals differ substantially. Through careful scrutiny of the everyday work of prosecutors and how they reflect on the relationship between accountability, quantification and law, this book argues that actors who work daily with quantitative accountability measures develop a numerical reflexivity about the process.

    • Provides a detailed ethnographic study of how the National Prosecuting Authority's performance measurement system shapes South African prosecutors' understandings of accountability and their prosecutorial practices
    • Establishes a set of factors that help make normative judgements about quantification and accountability
    • Looks at the purpose, affects and consequences of numerical representations in a specific setting from a social scientific, institutional and political perspective
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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2019
    • format: Adobe eBook Reader
    • isbn: 9781108592499
    • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • Table of Contents

    1. From apartheid administrators to lawyers of the people: a history of accountability inside the South African Prosecution Authority (1948–2018)
    2. Ethnographic research in a multi-local organisation: access, challenges and methods
    3. Stats talk' and alternative expressions of accountability: NPA lower court prosecutors at work
    4. No fear of numbers: reactivity and the political economy of NPA performance measurement
    5. At the top of the NPA: managing with numbers and numerical reflexivity
    6. Lies, damned lies and statistics: making sense of misleading or imperfect NPA conviction rates.

  • Author

    Johanna Mugler, Universität Bern, Switzerland
    Johanna Mugler joined the Department for Social Anthropology at the Universität Bern, Switzerland, as a Lecturer and Researcher in 2012. She holds a Ph.D. in Social Anthropology from the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg and was a Ph.D. Candidate at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle. Her primary research goals are directed at understanding how people and institutions are accomplishing social phenomena like accountability, justice, equality and redistribution. In her postdoctoral research 'Sharing Global Corporate Profits' she explores the fiscal accountabilities of global taxpayers and the negotiation and making of international tax law within the 'G20 OECD Base Erosion and Profit Shifting' initiative.

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