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The good, the bad and the ugly: images of the foreigner in contemporary criminal law

Published Online:pp 287-302

Since the end of the Second World War, the criminal law of Western states has tried to legitimate itself, in basically democratic-republican terms, as primarily addressed towards citizens. During approximately the last 20 years, however, new dimensions of criminal law have emerged, which refer paradigmatically (not to the citizen, but) to the foreigner and subject him/her to worse legal treatment than that which is considered legitimate when either citizens or 'good' foreigners are concerned. Next to the ideal-type of the citizen criminal law (also applicable, by assimilation, to the 'good' foreigner) a criminal law for 'ugly' mass-foreigners (crimmigration) and one for 'bad' foreigners (enemy criminal law) have their place. This paper is an attempt to critically reconstruct these alternative legitimating models, so as to let their deeper and underlying logic emerge from their explicit argument.


criminal law, citizenship, cultural defence, crimmigration, expulsion, social exclusion, enemy criminal law, authority