It's the economy, stupid!: classifying power crime

Ruggiero, Vincenzo ORCID logoORCID: (2007) It's the economy, stupid!: classifying power crime. International Journal of the Sociology of Law, 35 (4) . pp. 163-177. ISSN 1095-9262 [Article] (doi:10.1016/j.ijsl.2007.05.002)


The debate around the criminality of white-collar crime is far from exhausted, leaving one wondering whether Sutherland (1945), when asking ‘is white-collar crime crime?’ intended to pose a mere rhetorical question and enjoy the interminable debate and controversies such a question was bound to generate. After providing a review of the major arguments which emerge from such debate, this paper notes the ambiguity of the responses given to Sutherland's original question. Given the increasing variety of white-collar criminal offences being committed, and the avalanche of crimes perpetrated by states and other powerful actors, scholars are faced with a fuzzy analytical framework, with the result that some may be tempted to describe as crime everything they, understandably, find disturbing. The complexity, evasiveness and deceptive profile of the crimes of the powerful contribute to this process, so that the expansion of criminology into the terrain of powerful offenders risks turning our object of study into ‘everything we might not like at the time’ (Cohen, 1993, p. 98).

What follows is an attempt to classify the diverse white-collar, corporate and state offences, with a view to drawing a tentative template within which each offence can be identified as a distinct type of illegitimate or harmful conduct. Prior to attempting such classification, however, a preliminary proviso is necessary as to which specific conducts the proposed typology will include.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Law > Criminology and Sociology
Item ID: 9271
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Depositing User: Devika Mohan
Date Deposited: 26 Jul 2012 06:31
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 14:24

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