Beyond State-Corporate Crime?

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Date(s) - 13 Mar 2014
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Room N302, Menzies Building, Monash University

Steve Tombs, The Open University, UK

The concept of state-corporate crime has made a significant contribution to the study of the ‘crimes of the powerful’: first set out in 1990 by Michalowski and Kramer, the concept sought to capture the ways in which states facilitate or initiate “illegal or socially injurious actions”. Despite its achievements, however, this paper argues that this concept may have outlived its usefulness. Through an extended empirical focus upon ‘violence’, it seeks to tease out the various processes through which states and corporations exist in increasingly symbiotic relationships, which in turn are crucial to understanding the systematic, routine production of crimes and harms. It argues that, despite the value of the concept of ‘state-corporate crime’, it tends to obscure these underlying relationships and processes through an abstracted focus on events and collaborations; at worst, this tends towards an empiricism which fails to advance our understanding of the dynamics of state-corporate relationships. Further, through its focus upon crimes, the concept may focus our attention upon an increasingly narrow terrain, obscuring the harms characterised by ongoing state-corporate relationships.

Steve Tombs took up the post of Professor of Criminology at the Open University in 2013, prior to which he had been Professor of Sociology at Liverpool John Moores University. He has a long-standing interest in the incidence, nature and regulation of corporate crime, and has published widely on these matters. He works closely with the Hazards movement in the UK, was Founder and Chair of the Chair of the Centre for Corporate Accountability, 1999-2009, and is a Trustee and Board Member of Inquest.

Thursday 13th March 1-2 pm, Room N302
(3rd Floor, Menzies Building, Monash University Clayton)

RSVP to by Tuesday 11th March

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