1st Edition

Power, Race, and Justice The Restorative Dialogue We Will Not Have

By Theo Gavrielides Copyright 2022
    314 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    314 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    We are living in a world where power abuse has become the new norm, as well as the biggest, silent driver of persistent inequalities, racism and human rights violations. The COVID-19 socio-economic consequences can only be compared with those that followed World War II. As humanity is getting to grips with them, this timely book challenges current thinking, while creating a much needed normative and practical framework for revealing and challenging the power structures that feed our subconscious feelings of despair and defeatism.

    Structured around the four concepts of power, race, justice and restorative justice, the book uses empirical new data and normative analysis to reconstruct the way we prevent power abuse and harm at the inter-personal, inter-community and international levels. This book offers new lenses, which allow us to view power, race and justice in a modern reality where communities have been silenced, but through restorative justice are gaining voice. The book is enriched with case studies written by survivors, practitioners and those with direct experiences of power abuse and inequality. Through robust research methodologies, Gavrielides’s new monograph reveals new forms of slavery, while creating a new, philosophical framework for restorative punishment through the acknowledgement of pain and the use of catharsis for internal transformation and individual empowerment. This is a powerful and timely book that generates much needed hope.

    Through a multi-disciplinary dialogue that uses philosophy and critical theory, social sciences, criminology, law, psychology and human rights, the book opens new avenues for practitioners, researchers and policy makers internationally.

    Foreword: Professor John Braithwaite, Australian National University, Australia

    Preface: Kay Pranis, independent trainer and facilitator for peacemaking circles, leader in Restorative Justice and Circle Process movements


    Chapter 1: Challenging the power that racialises us all

    Chapter 2: Challenging race: Let’s talk about race, when we talk about race

    Chapter 3: Challenging justice: The lawful and the fair

    Chapter 4: Challenging restorative justice: A painful biopower


    Chapter 5: Faultlines, mermaids and sirens: Power-interest battles within the restorative justice social movement

    Chapter 6: The Trojan horses of race and power

    Chapter 7: Power, fear and security: The terrorist within


    Chapter 8: The fallacy of one justice and a consensual justice model restrained by human rights

    Chapter 9: Restoring power in justice and restorative justice: What parties in conflict really want

    Chapter 10: Restorative justice policy and practice: A guide free from power abusePART IV: CASE STUDIES OF POWER AND RESTORATION: POSSIBILITIES IN ACTION


    Case study no 1: Power and child sexual abuse – England

    Case study no 2: Power through bullying - England

    Case study no 3: Power through rape - Denmark

    Case study no 4: Power through race - USA

    Case study no 7: The power of taking life, the power of owning restorative justice- USA

    Case study no 8: Four restorative practices in Queensland, Australia

    Case study no 9: Parental power and culture

    Case study no 10: The "powerful" victim paedophile - USA

    Case study 11: Race, gender and power - USA

    Case study 12: Power in family relationships - Greece

    Case study 13: The power of protecting my turf - Greece

    Case study no 14: Power in whiteness - England

    Case Study 15: Race, gender and family relationships - USA

    Case Study 16: Regaining power through forgiveness - USA

    Case Study 17: Power imbalance in juvenile justice delivery: My experience as a prison social worker - Nigeria

    Case Study 18: Power and policing - USA

    Case Study 19: Power and child sexualisation – Lithuania

    Case Study 20: Power imbalance and intimate partner violence – India

    Case Study 21: Sun, sea, sex and the new forms of slavery

    Case Study 22: Climate change, power abuses and the plight of refugees

    Case Study 23: Digital enslavement, online dating apps and abuse

    Case study 24: Power Abuse of Queer, Indigenous and Racialized youth in the Global North

    Case Study 25: English Nationalism: Deindustrialisation and Powerlessness.


    Theo Gavrielides, PhD, is a legal philosopher and a restorative justice expert. He is the Founder and Director of the Restorative Justice for All (RJ4All) International Institute, and the Founder of The IARS International Institute. He is a visiting professor in universities in the UK and abroad, and the Editor-in-Chief of RJ4All Publications, the International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare, the Youth Voice Journal and the Internet Journal of Restorative Justice. He has edited over 20 books, and published extensively on restorative justice, violent radicalisation, criminal justice, human rights, youth justice and equality.

    Shortlisted as one of the three finalists for the American Society of Criminology-Division of International Criminology (ASC-DIC) Outstanding Book Award 2023

    Professor Maya Soetoro-Ng, Obama Foundation and University of Hawaii, USA.

    "This timely book invites readers to explore power, justice, and race in multiple places and from multiple perspectives. It challenges us to consider our own abilities to craft new narratives of identity and truth, transform ineffective or unfair systems, and contribute to racial healing. I highly recommend this book as both a learning tool and as a source of inspiration for educators, activists, and peacebuilders".


    Professor John Braithwaite, Australian National University, Australia.


    "Racial injustices that intersect with other injustices are daunting in their intersectionality. Yet this is a book that refuses to feed our despair. It infuses our imaginations with an empowering vision for hope and governance. Theo Gavrielides opens pathways to implementing the Martin Luther King imaginary that ‘If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.’ Slavery is a neglected topic in the restorative justice literature. This is a book that begins to redress that failing with a fresh approach. Theo Gavrielides’ new monograph advances a politics of inclusion and fusion of insights from theory and practice so evocatively and with such eloquence."


    Professor Peter Raynor,

    Professor of Criminology, Swansea University and Visiting Professor, University of South Wales.

    "This book, by a leading researcher in the restorative justice movement, is written to make people think, and it does. Through a mixture of theoretical discussion and practical examples it explores the variety, creativity and potential of the restorative justice movement, while also showing how its efforts to empower participants conflict with social structures that systematically disempower. We are challenged to think critically about justice, inequality, race and power, and in the process to develop a more comprehensive and theoretically grounded conception of restorative justice. This is a significant and thoughtful contribution which deserves to be widely read."


    Professor Gerry Johnstone, Hull University, UK.



    This provocative new book by Theo Gavrielides provides a powerful reminder of the radical promise and potential of restorative justice. Employing philosophical analysis and lessons from his own pioneering work in developing community-led initiatives, Gavrielides reveals the possibility of challenging unjust exercises of social power and racial injustice through restorative justice, yet is also unflinching in his exposure of the shortcomings of much conventional restorative justice thought and practice. An important work for those who still believe in the possibility of, and our responsibility for bringing about, progressive social change."

    Kay Pranis, independent trainer and facilitator for peace-making circles, leader in Restorative Justice and Circle Process movements.

    "Theo Gavrielides has clearly written from his heart and spirit as well as his mind, as he wrestles with the challenge and potential of justice and restorative justice. The book covers a surprising breadth of the restorative justice landscape – from deep probing of philosophical roots to detailed observations about implementation and the impact of restorative practices on the lives of individuals. This is a very timely contribution to the restorative justice literature. Theo Gavrielides offers us a way to pause, to reach deep into our sense of purpose and take stock of where we are and where we want to be headed with this new momentum".

    Emeritus Professor Andreas Kapardis, Department of Law, University of Cyprus.

    "This is a most significant and original book, the outcome of no less that 20 years of Theo Gavrielides’ work in the fields of equality and justice. Even after teaching restorative justice for a long time, I have found it a most inspiring book for it provides, inter alia, numerous lenses through which to address and redress afresh global and local inequalities and justice by focusing on the pivotal role of power and its dynamic interactions with race and justice. I strongly recommend this book to restorative justice practitioners, tertiary students and criminal justice students, teachers and researchers."


    Dr. Paul Kiff, Director of the Research Advice Service, Senior Criminologist, former Director of the British Society of Criminology and long-time Secretary to the UK Penal Affairs Consortium, UK.

    "This is a seriously important contribution to restorative justice, which will make you think out why and how you are a part of, or should be part of, the restorative justice movement. Restorative justice has not come to life separate from its historical context, and this seminal piece of writing may help you to articulate your feelings about it and the supposedly stable society in which we all now labour".


    Professor Daniel Christie, Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Ohio State University, USA.

    "Theo Gavrielides takes the reader on reflexive journey that results in personal transformation and implications for researchers and practitioners in restorative justice.  The analysis seeks to demystify the unacknowledged impact of power at the center of restorative processes, a veil that serves to maintain status quo power arrangements.  This may be an uncomfortable read for those who have not examined their own positionality, but the author offers guidance to mitigate the discomfort and arrive at a deeper understanding of restorative processes".


    Margaret Thorsborne, Managing Director of Margaret Thorsborne & Associates, Australia.


    "I am grateful that Theo Gavrielides has found the time to write this deeply personal, and therefore all-the-more engaging account of the challenging that needs to happen to keep our restorative work on the right path. He’s right about the discomfort that is triggered in reading his words. I hope to, after almost three decades working in schools and workplaces as a restorative practitioner, author and trainer, to remind myself and not lose sight of the "mermaids and sirens" that can tempt us from the path and cloak the real issues. The case studies are all stories of empowerment and narratives that speak about the unspeakable – only possible when we are prepared to be vulnerable – the ultimate move away from domination and the only way to re-connect after disconnection. Keeping relationship at the heart of justice as healing and justice as fairness."

    Dr. Keyria Rodgers, Director of Criminal Justice, Millikin University, USA Keyria Rodgers.

    "Dr. Theo Gavrielides has done a fantastic job introducing race, justice, restorative justice, and historical philosophies in ways that even the younger generations across various professions and communities can read and understand. Readers are given the opportunity to learn about research that combines critical thinking and the development of new normative ideas and methodologies. The timeliness of this book is simply perfect as the world is learning of new ways to respond to community-based challenges and global social justice issues. I highly recommend this book to professors to use in the classroom."

    Penelope Griffith, Executive Director, Collaborative Solutions for Communities, USA.

    "An essential read for social workers and others in human services. The case studies in this book demonstrate in practical terms how one regains control and brings back the balance of power in their lives. Through the use of a variety of modalities, including healing circles, practitioners can help clients confront the harm they have done and seek to reconcile those impacted by their harm".

    Professor Howard Williamson CVO CBE FRSA FHEA, University of South Wales, Wales, UK.

    "In the face of growing inequalities and the increasing questioning of both the morality and efficacy of contemporary approaches to ‘justice’, is there a new zeitgeist, especially for young people? And is restorative justice, in a variety of forms, the new paradigm for responding to it?  Through an imaginative and provocative blend of philosophy, incisive critique and empirical illumination, this book takes on the issues, concluding that restorative action is embedded within established human rights".

    Professor Neil Chakraborti - Director of the Centre for Hate Studies, University of Leicester.

    "This is a rich, timely and compelling account which challenges our assumptions about power, race, justice and restorative interventions. Written in a way that engages the reader throughout, the book offers us fresh ways of thinking about those key concepts, and a framework designed to elevate cross-disciplinary knowledge, foster critical thinking and shape policy. As such it is a welcome addition to the existing literature and feels genuinely ground-breaking in its scope and ambition".

    Professor Gabriel Velez – College of Education, Marquette University, USA.


    "The popularization of restorative justice threatens to turn it into a buzz word, with focuses primarily on how best to implement it and on its potential for positive outcomes for individuals, communities and societies. In this engaging and insightful book, Theo Gavrielides draws on a rich array of knowledge across fields and times to ask foundation questions. What does power entail? How does it intersect with race and philosophical perspectives on justice? Addressing these difficult inquiries, Gavrielides’ readable, critical, and nuanced text challenges our thinking by wrestling with how the practices of restorative justice can address deeply rooted, unjust systems."

    Professor Dennis Wong, Department of Social and Behavioural Sciences, City University of Hong Kong.

    "This book is a collection of reflection and scholarly writings of Dr. Theo Gavrielides who exhibits a distinct set of discourse. His reflection on restorative justice is from lenses of power, race, and justice, and writings are full of vivid demonstration of theoretical discussions and practical solutions. Based on theory and research evidence, this book not only subverts the power of interpreting restorative justice, but also brings up insightful ideas and debates on how the pre-conceived ideas of restorative justice can be transformed. It also attempts to provide suggestions for redefining roles of restorative justice and reshaping it into a better practice for those who are coming from different classes sectors, cultures, identities, and racial backgrounds. I highly recommend it to university students, criminal justice related personnel, restorative justice practitioners and criminologists".

    Professor Aneta D. Tunariu, Dean of School of Psychology, University of East London, UK.

    "Twenty-years in the making, this new book from Theo Gavrielides delivers a thoroughly compelling exposition on justice and restorative justice; how do we and could we conceptualise and deliver justice and restorative justice? how do we and could we best grasp their nuanced, interlocking connection with power, (ab)use of power, responsibility, human rights and actions-out-of-hope? The book combines critical synthesis of theory and research, insights from large-scale field work, original philosophical dialogues and, in its final section, showcases a collection of vignettes written by practitioners and users of the justice system from across contexts and countries. Well informed, balanced, reflective, not shy from tackling difficult questions, with important and tangible implications for policy and practice – the book is a must read for students and professionals alike."

    Anita Wadhwa, Restorative Justice Coordinator, Yes Prep Northbrook High Co-Founder, Restorative Empowerment for Youth: Empowering Youth, Transforming the World.

    "Theo Gavrielides’ book is a tapestry of theory, research, and case studies woven together to interrogate race and power dynamics in restorative justice. He opens by being vulnerable about his own path, internally and externally, to understanding and implementing restorative justice. This vulnerability invites the reader to reflect on our own missteps as proponents of restorative justice and imperfect human beings. Through personal reflections about his racial positionality in a field that has historically alienated practitioners of color, he opens the door for the reader to ask important questions about how we can reduce power imbalances in our personal lives and in our antiracist work in restorative justice."