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6362 COERCION AND WOMEN CO-OFFENDERS FIvE APPLYING THE ‘CONTINUUM OF COERCION’: AN ALTERNATIvE, FEMINIST FRAMEWORK Introduction This chapter begins by critiquing the representation of the women’s reasons for offending as being a ‘rational choice’. Furthermore, the chapter introduces an alternative feminist conceptual framework to gain a more nuanced understanding of coercion as a pathway into crime for co-offending women. This framework is applied to the case studies analysed in this research by drawing on the women’s testimonies and experiences, taken

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A Gendered Pathway into Crime

What role does coercion play in women’s involvement in crime?

This is the first book to explore coercion as a pathway into crime for co-offending women. Using newspaper articles and case and court files, it analyses four cases of women co-accused of a crime with their partner who suggested that coercive techniques had influenced their involvement in the offending.

Based on a feminist perspective, it highlights the importance of gender role expectations and gendered discourses in how the trials were conducted, and the ways in which the media framed the trials (and the women).

Considering the legal and social construction of coercion, this fascinating book concludes by exploring the implications for public understanding of coercion and female offending more broadly.

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From networks to hegemony

Theories heralding the rise of network governance have dominated for a generation. Yet, empirical research suggests that claims for the transformative potential of networks are exaggerated. This topical and timely book takes a critical look at contemporary governance theory, elaborating a Gramscian alternative. It argues that, although the ideology of networks has been a vital element in the neoliberal hegemonic project, there are major structural impediments to accomplishing it. While networking remains important, the hierarchical and coercive state is vital for the maintenance of social order and integral to the institutions of contemporary governance. Reconsidering it from Marxist and Gramscian perspectives, the book argues that the hegemonic ideology of networks is utopian and rejects the claim that there has been a transformation from 'government' to 'governance'. This important book has international appeal and will be essential reading for scholars and students of governance, public policy, human geography, public management, social policy and sociology.

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context (Daly, 1994). As outlined by Daly (1994: 451, cited in Comack and Brickey 2007: 27) ‘It is important to acknowledge, however, that choices are never free and open, that the ability to ‘choose’ will be affected by broader social conditions.’ With this in mind, while each of the women made a ‘choice’ to offend, it is argued that this ‘choice’ should have been located in its social context and particularly within the context of their potentially coercive relationship with their male partner/co-offender. In addition, the ‘continuum of coercion’ outlined in

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-studies, particularly considering motifs such as ‘bad mother’, ‘mythical monster’ and ‘other’, as well as exploring the construction of the women’s defence and perspectives. The alternative conceptual framework of a ‘continuum of coercion’ is discussed in Chapter Five, which outlines the ways in which abusive, controlling and/or obsessive relationships with a male partner/co-offender may influence a woman’s ‘decision’ to offend. The final chapter (Chapter Six) considers the ways in which this feminist, critical understanding of coercion may lead to a more nuanced

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integral state is partly ‘constituted by a silent, absent force’, the threat of violence without which ‘the system of cultural control would be instantly fragile, since the limits of possible actions against it would disappear’ (Anderson, 1976, p 43, original emphasis). Hegemony or consent in civil society is always mediated by coercion or tacit threat – the ‘shadow of hierarchy’. In this reading, the integral state is the dialectical unity of hegemony- domination or coercion-consent. Why is the continuum of coercion inescapable? As suggested earlier, hegemony is

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