The Routledge International Handbook of the Crimes of the Powerful (Hardback) book cover

The Routledge International Handbook of the Crimes of the Powerful

Edited by Gregg Barak

© 2015 – Routledge

556 pages | 10 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2015-06-17
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Across the world, most people are well aware of ordinary criminal harms to person and property. Often committed by the powerless and poor, these individualized crimes are catalogued in the statistics collected annually by the FBI and by similar agencies in other developed nations. In contrast, the more harmful and systemic forms of injury to person and property committed by powerful and wealthy individuals, groups, and national states are neither calculated by governmental agencies nor annually reported by the mass media. As a result, most citizens of the world are unaware of the routinized "crimes of the powerful", even though they are more likely to experience harms and injuries from these types of organized offenses than they are from the atomized offenses of the powerless.

Research on the crimes of the powerful brings together several areas of criminological focus, involving organizational and institutional networks of powerful people that commit crimes against workers, marketplaces, taxpayers and political systems, as well as acts of torture, terrorism, and genocide. This international handbook offers a comprehensive, authoritative and structural synthesis of these interrelated topics of criminological concern. It also explains why the crimes of the powerful are so difficult to control.

Edited by internationally acclaimed criminologist Gregg Barak, this book reflects the state of the art of scholarly research, covering all the key areas including corporate, global, environmental, and state crimes. The handbook is a perfect resource for students and researchers engaged with explaining and controlling the crimes of the powerful, domestically and internationally.


‘With a truly global focus – between the contributors and the focus of almost 40 chapters, this book spans five continents – Gregg Barak’s edited text brims with authority and insight. As the crimes of the powerful are forensically and variously dissected, injustice and anger bubble consistently close to the surface. If this masterful, cutting-edge call for radical change does not help to shift the gaze of criminology upwards as well as down onto the usual suspects, we may as well all give up…’ - Steve Tombs, Professor of Criminology, The Open University, UK

‘This text explores, with remarkable coverage, dexterity and precision, that most universal and enduring of contradictions in capitalist social orders: How being ripped off, mutilated and killed by a wealthy class of well-dressed people in shiny offices is generally ignored, pardoned and indeed often encouraged by democratic systems of law and justice.’ - David Whyte, Professor of Socio-legal Studies, University of Liverpool, UK

This is an excellent collection that defines the state of the art in scholarship on state and corporate crime. It is a must-read for graduate students and scholars who have an interest in crimes of the powerful and is sure to make an important contribution to research in this area.’ - Peter Iadicola, Professor and Chairperson, Department of Sociology, Indiana University – Purdue University, USA

'Professor Gregg Barak's 38 chapter edited collection… is an impressive, wide ranging and accessible examination of its subject matter. It has a broad scope, considering not only violations of criminal law by powerful people, such as white collar and corporate fraud, but also those other harms perpetuated by the powerful that do not formally come within the ambit of criminal law… This book offers up to date research and scholarship that will be essential for any academic with an interest in the subject area.'— Dr. Jamie Bennett, Prison Service Journal

Table of Contents

Introduction: on the invisibility and neutralization of the crimes of the powerful and their victims, Gregg Barak Part I: Culture, ideology and the crimes of the powerful 1. Crimes of the powerful and the definition of crime, David Friedrichs 2. Operationalizing "organizational violence", Gary S. Green and Huisheng Shou 3. Justifying the crimes of the powerful, Vincenzo Ruggiero 4. Corporate criminals constructing white collar crime—or why there is no corporate crime on USA Network’s White Collar series, Carrie L. Buist and Paul Leighton Part II: Crimes of globalization 5. Capital and catharsis in the Nigerian petroleum extraction industry: lessons on the crimes of globalization, Ifeanyi Ezeonu 6. State and corporate drivers of global dysnomie: horrendous crimes and the law, Anamika Twyman- Ghoshal and Nikos Passas 7. Truth, justice and the Walmart way: consequences of a retailing behemoth, Lloyd Klein and Steve Lang 8. Human trafficking: examining global responses, Marie Segrave and Sanja Milivojevic 9. Globalization, sovereignty and crime: a philosophical processing, Kingsley Ejiogu Part III: Corporate crimes 10. Corporate crimes and the problems of enforcement, Ronald Burns 11. Corporate-financial crime scandals: a comparative analysis of the collapses of Insull and Enron, Brandon Sullivan 12. Corporate social responsibility, corporate surveillance and neutralizing corporate resistance: on the commodification of risk-based policing, Hans Krause Hansen and Julie Uldam 13. Walmart’s sustainability initiative: greening capitalism as a form of corporate irresponsibility, Steve Lang and Lloyd Klein Part IV: Environmental crimes 14. Climate change, ecocide and the crimes of the powerful, Rob White 15. Privatization, pollution and power: a green criminological analysis of present and future global water crises, Bill McClanahan, Avi Brisman, and Nigel South 16. Unfettered fracking: a critical examination of hydraulic fracturing in the United States, Jacquelynn Doyon and Elizabeth Bradshaw 17. The international impact of electronic waste: a case study of Western Africa, Jacquelynn Doyon Part V: Financial crimes 18. Bad banks: recurrent criminogenic conditions in the U.S. commercial banking industry, Robert Tillman 19. Financial misrepresentation and fraudulent manipulation: SEC settlements with Wall Street firms in the wake of the economic meltdown, David Shichor 20. A comprehensive framework for conceptualizing financial frauds and victimization, Mary Dodge and Skylar Steele Part VI: State crimes 21. Transnational institutional torturers: state crime, ideology and the role of France’s savior-faire in Argentina’s dirty war, 1976-1983, Melanie Collard 22. Para-state crime and plural legalities in Colombia, Thomas MacManus and Tony Ward 23. Australian border policing and the production of state harm, Mike Grewcock 24. Gendered forms of state crime: the case of state perpetrated violence against women, Victoria Collins Part VII: State-corporate crimes 25. Blacking out the Gulf: state-corporate environmental crime and the response to the BP oil spill, Elizabeth Bradshaw 26. Collaborate state and corporate crime: fraud, unions and elite power in Mexico, Maya Barak 27. Mining as state-corporate crime: the case of AngloGold Ashanti in Colombia, Damián Zaitch and Laura Gutiérrez-GómezPart VIII: State-routinized crimes 28. Organized crimes in a transitional economy: the resurgence of the criminal underworld in contemporary China, Peng Wang 29. Institutionalized abuse of police power: how public policing condones and legitimates police corruption in North America, Marilyn Corsianos 30. The appearances and realities of corruption in Greece: the cases of MAYO and Siemens AG, Effi LambropoulouPart IX: Failing to control the crimes of the powerful 31. Postconviction and powerful offenders: the white collar offender as professional ex, Ben Hunter and Stephen Farrall 32. Business ethics as a means of controlling abusive corporate behavior, Jay Kennedy 33. Ag-gag laws and farming crimes against animals, Doris Lin 34. Genocide and controlling the crimes of the powerful, Augustine Brannigan 35. Controlling state crime and alternative reactions, Jeffrey Ian Ross 36. Hacking the state: hackers, technology, control, resistance, and the state, Kevin F. Steinmetz and Jurg Gerber 37. (Liberal) democracy means surveillance: on security, control and the surveillance techno-fetish, Dawn Rothe and Travis Linnemann 38. Limiting financial capital and regulatory control as non-penal alternatives to Wall Street looting and high-risk securities, Gregg Barak.

About the Editor

Gregg Barak is Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Eastern Michigan University and the former Visiting Distinguished Professor in the College of Justice & Safety at Eastern Kentucky University. In 2003 he became the 27th Fellow of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences and in 2007 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Critical Division of the American Society of Criminology. Barak is the author and/or editor of 20 books, including the award winning titles Gimme Shelter: A Social History of Homelessness in Contemporary America (1991) and Theft of a Nation: Wall Street Looting and Federal Regulatory Colluding (2012). His most recent book is the 4th edition of Class, Race, Gender, and Crime: The Social Realities of Justice in America (2015) with Paul Leighton and Allison Cotton.

About the Series

Routledge International Handbooks

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Criminology