“The Sleeping Army”: Necropolitics and the Collateral Consequences of Being a Sex Offender

Ethan M. Higgins and Shawn M. Rolfe recently published an article in Deviant Behavior.


The current study examines responses from 188 registered sex offenders to assess the impact of collateral consequences and situate such experiences within a framework of necropolitics. Two research questions are addressed: How can the experience of collateral consequences be explained through necropolitics; and, do sex offenders use necropolitics in resistive efforts? Results demonstrate that exclusion from social and political institutions results in a “death in life” for sex offenders. Last, this article discusses an alternative lens for conceptualizing policy initiatives towards sex offenders by juxtaposing Luckmann’s “life-worlds” with Mbembe’s “death worlds.”