1st Edition

The Routledge International Handbook of the Crimes of the Powerful

Edited By Gregg Barak Copyright 2015
    576 Pages
    by Routledge

    576 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    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.


    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.

    ‘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