1st Edition

Revisiting Crimes of the Powerful Marxism, Crime and Deviance

Edited By Steven Bittle, Laureen Snider, Steve Tombs, David Whyte Copyright 2018
    392 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    392 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Frank Pearce was the first scholar to use the term 'crimes of the powerful.' His ground-breaking book of the same name provided insightful critiques of liberal orthodox criminology, particularly in relation to labelling theory and symbolic interactionism, while making important contributions to Marxist understandings of the complex relations between crime, law and the state in the reproduction of the capitalist social order. Historically, crimes of the powerful were largely neglected in crime and deviance studies, but there is now an important and growing body of work addressing this gap. This book brings together leading international scholars to discuss the legacy of Frank Pearce’s book and his work in this area, demonstrating the invaluable contributions a critical Marxist framework brings to studies of corporate and state crimes, nationally, internationally and on a global scale.

    This book is neither a hagiography, nor a review of random areas of social scientific interest. Instead, it draws together a collection of scholarly and original articles which draw upon and critically interrogate the continued significance of the approach pioneered in Crimes of the Powerful. The book traces the evolution of crimes of the powerful empirically and theoretically since 1976, shows how critical scholars have integrated new theoretical insights derived from post-structuralism, feminism and critical race studies and offers perspectives on how the crimes of the powerful - and the enormous, ongoing destruction they cause - can be addressed and resisted.

    Foreword: Autobiographical Context for Crimes of the Powerful (Frank Pearce)

    Revisiting Crimes of the Powerful: An Introduction (Steven Bittle, Laureen Snider, Steve Tombs and David Whyte)

    Section I: Theoretical and conceptual excursions

    1. Conceptualisation, Theoretical Practice and Crimes of the Powerful (Jon Frauley)

    2. Law: Ideological Whitewashing and Positive Enabling of Coercion (Harry Glasbeek)

    3. Underworld as Servant and Smokescreen: Crimes of the Powerful and the Evolution of Organized Crime Control (Michael Woodiwiss)

    4. Shadow Boxing against the Crimes of the Powerful (Margaret Beare)

    5. Between Force and Consensus (Vincenzo Ruggiero)

    6. Developing Pearce’s New Materialism (Nick Hardy)

    7. ‘Expropriative’ Sacrifice and Zombie Capitalism: A Radical Durkheimian Approach (Ronjon Paul Datta)

    8. Power, Crime and Enclosure: Capital Accumulation in the Twilight of the Neoliberal SSA (Raymond Michalowski)

    Section II: Crimes of the Powerful Research: Empirical Dimensions

    9. Marx Reloaded for the 21st Century: Capitalism, Agency and the Crimes of the Powerful (Kristian Lasslett)

    10. The Imaginary Social Order of Corporate Criminal Liability (Liisa Lähteenmäki and Anne Alvesalo-Kuusi)

    11. Global Capital, the Rigging of Interbank Interest Rates, and the Capitalist State (Gregg Barak)

    12. Pipelines, Presidents and People Power: Resisting State-Corporate Environmental Crime (Elizabeth A. Bradshaw)

    13. Pesticeland: Brazil’s Poison Market (Stéfanie Khoury)

    14. No Criminology of Wage Theft: Revisiting ‘Workplace Theft’ to Expose Capitalist Exploitation (Paul Leighton)

    15. Prying into the Pockets of Public Figures (Scott Poynting)

    16. Crimes of the Powerful and the Spanish Crisis (Ignasi Bernat)

    17. Crimes of Globalization and Asian Dam Projects: Powerful Institutions and Slow Violence (David O. Friedrichs)

    Section III: New Developments in Crimes of the Powerful Research

    18. An Extension of Frank Pearce’s Work on Crimes of the Powerful: ‘Demystification’ and the Role of Our Consent (Dawn L. Rothe and Victoria E. Collins)

    19. Debtfarism, Predatory Lending and Imaginary Social Orders: The Case of the US Payday Lending Industry (Susanne Soederberg)

    20. Failure to Protect: State Obligations to Victims and State Crime (Laura Finley)

    21. ‘Punitive Reformation’: State-Sanctioned Labour Through Criminal Justice and Welfare (Jon Burnett)

    22. Imperialism: The General Theory of Crimes of the Powerful (Biko Agozino)

    23. Frank Pearce and Colonial State Crimes: Contributions to a Research Agenda (Jose Atiles)

    24. Organized Irresponsibility, Corporations, and the Contradictions of Collective Agency and Individual Culpability (Dean Curran)


    Steven Bittle is an Associate Professor of Criminology at the University of Ottawa, Canada

    Laureen Snider is an Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada

    Steve Tombs is Professor of Criminology at The Open University, UK

    David Whyte is Professor of Socio-legal Studies at the School of Law and Social Justice, University of Liverpool, UK

    It is high time for a reboot of Crimes of the Powerful and this authoritative anthology accomplishes that task. The editors have rejuvenated a text at risk of becoming criminology’s most prophetic yet esoteric treatise: the foundational and ground-breaking Marxist analysis of corporate crime.  

    - George S. Rigakos, Professor of the Political Economy of Policing, Department of Law and Legal Studies, Carleton University, Canada

    Building on the pioneering research of Frank Pearce, this timely collection demonstrates convincingly that power and crime are intimately linked. Critical, rigorous, and precise, it offers fresh ways of seeing our deeply troubled world and provides intelligent remedies for our real crime problem.

    - Vincent Mosco, author of Becoming Digital: Toward a Post-Internet Society