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NCJ Number: 222056 Find in a Library
Title: Performative Regulation: A Case Study in How Powerful People Avoid Criminal Labels
Journal: British Journal of Criminology  Volume:48  Issue:2  Dated:March 2008  Pages:138-153
Author(s): Simon Mackenzie; Penny Green
Date Published: March 2008
Page Count: 16
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: Utilizing a case study of an antiquities legislation, this paper explores the role of invested powerful business actors in the criminalization process as applied to the illicit antiquities market.
Abstract: The case study of the Dealing in Cultural Objects (Offenses) Act 2003 provides an opportunity to suggest some directions towards updating the classic literature on the sociology of law to reflect contemporary political-legislative trends. This case of a single piece of antiquities legislation provides further data to add to the line of prior research that illustrates that powerful white-collar criminals, as well as sometimes preventing legislation entering the statute books, can also influence the design of criminal legislation that does enter the statute books in order to protect themselves and their own business interests. It draws together and empirically illustrates four key theoretical propositions pertinent to white-collar crime. First, that as well as first and second dimensional power, a highly effective form of power operates through third dimensional activities which encourages the voluntary delivery of pleasing results to the exercisers of this power by those they dominate. Second, data support a view of regulation as a facilitative instrument for the powerful. Third, a view is offered that the reality behind the veneer of democratic lawmaking often manifests in a less principled, strategic battle of personal interest disguising itself in the language of democratic debate and professional politics. Fourth, regulation, as it currently plays out empirically, often operates a ‘firefighting’ model of panicked response to pressing crisis, led by a political desire to be seen to be doing something. References
Main Term(s): Legislation; White collar crime
Index Term(s): Crime specific law reform; Law reform; Legislative issues; Offender attitudes; White collar crime causes; White collar offenders
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