Admission Price: Free to attend, all welcome.
Speaker: Dr David Whyte - University of Liverpool
Series: Crime and Justice research seminars
Corporate and white collar crime has been an ever present, if peripheral, theme in sociology for a large part of the past century. A consistent theme in this work has been the conceptualisation of corporations as 'outside' or standing in opposition to, the rule of law. Thus, it is now an established orthodoxy that corporations can be shown to commit crime routinely; it is no longer controversial to assert that corporations kill more people, maim more people and steal much more from people than all other criminal 'types', and that a great deal of this killing and stealing is 'illegal'.
This paper argues, however, that the capacity that corporations have to produce social harms on such a scale is enabled through a series of legalised 'regimes of permission' that are inscribed into the constitutional fabric of liberal democracies. Moreover, those regimes of permission only function because of a range of exceptional powers that have been granted to corporations historically. The paper will argue that an understanding of the corporation as an exceptional structure of power impels us move beyond a narrow concept of 'corporate crime' to demand fundamental structural change to the legal foundation of corporate power. Indeed, it argues that a focus upon the disruption of those structures of exception can provide a powerful guide to activists and critical scholars in meaningful, long-term, challenges to corporation power.
Dr David Whyte is Lecturer in Law at the University of Liverpool.
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When & where
1.00pm - 3.00pmWednesday 28th May 2014