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Additional info for Global Institutions and Development: Framing the World? (Routledge Ripestudies in Global Political Economy)
This is because the form of the court, Foucault argues, is an expression of a bourgeois idea of justice. He asks us to consider the physical layout of a court: a table, and behind this table, which distances them from the two litigants, the ‘third party’, that is, the judges. Their position indicates firstly that they are neutral with respect to each litigant, and secondly this implies that their decision is not already arrived at in advance, that it will be made after an aural investigation of the two parties, on the basis of a certain conception of truth and a certain number of ideas concerning what is just and unjust, and thirdly that they have the authority to enforce their decision.
Nustad juridical system to an expression of popular justice after the revolution can clarify our thinking. Foucault argues that the judicial system cannot be adapted to a true expression of the will of the people (Foucault 1980). He points out that acts of popular justice in France and elsewhere in Western Europe have been profoundly anti-judicial, that the expressions they have been given are contrary to the very form of the court. This is because the form of the court, Foucault argues, is an expression of a bourgeois idea of justice.
What exactly are ideas? In pursuing this line of inquiry, we must acknowledge the difficult conceptual problem of dealing with ideas. g. theory, ideology, perceptions, principles, attitudes and values). Here, ideas are usually equated with mental events and refer to particular beliefs held by large numbers of people. Viewing ideas in this way leaves us with the problem of throwing together in the same basket all manner of ideas – from small atoms of information to organized worldviews or ideologies.