Coloniality, just war & carceral injustice in Brazil

Sacha Darke, Omar Phoenix Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (SciVal)


The Portuguese empire brought inescapable violence to the indigenous communities of Brazil and to those it enslaved. Throughout the centuries of colonial subjugation, driven by the Iberian monarchical traditions of hierarchy, militarism and moral crusade, ‘just war’ narratives were employed to legitimate the use of violent legal and extra-legal measures against enslaved peoples and others deemed unruly or rebellious and a threat to colonial order. Two centuries after independence, Brazil remains at war with its ‘internal enemies’. Its justice practices continue to be characterised by colonial rationalisations. This paper illustrates the contemporary coloniality inherent in the carceral system from the moment of detention pre-trial through sentencing and imprisonment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)723-740
JournalPunishment and Society
Issue number5
Early online date24 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2021


  • coloniality
  • Brazil
  • just war
  • authoritarianism
  • colonialism
  • oppression
  • flagrante delicto
  • judicial internment


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