Deceptive apparatus: Foucauldian perspectives on law, authorised crime and the rationalities of undercover investigation

Brendon Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Investigation of crime is central to the function and purpose of law enforcement. Contemporary investigation depends on a sophisticated arsenal of theories and techniques interacting with law and its institutions in a variety of ways, including authorised unlawful activity. Drawing on Foucault, this article re-imagines the investigation and associated legal architectures as apparatus; a rationality and strategy of governance shaped by intersecting knowledge formations. The paper considers the key characteristics of investigation and its relationship with law, concluding that investigations practices are a form of apparatus, and that aspects of these practices are grounded in a theological dynamic based on surveillance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-244
Number of pages22
JournalGriffith Law Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes


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