State crime: the European experience
DOI link for State crime: the European experience
State crime: the European experience book
In his 1989 presidential address to the American Society of Criminology, William Chambliss captured the criminological imagination with a new concept: state-organised crime, or state crime (Chambliss, 1989). Like its predecessor ‘white collar crime’ half a century earlier the concept of ‘state crime’ has drawn attention to the ‘key questions at the foundations of the discipline, the definition of crime’ (Rothe and Friedrichs, 2006: 150). Both concepts epitomise the necessity for criminology to transcend a merely legalistic foundation. Rarely in the history of criminology have criminologists impacted on the public imagination and the vernacular of crime and justice as Sutherland (1940) did when he coined the term ‘white collar crime’ in 1939. Since then it has found its way into nearly every language in Europe and around the globe, whether translated or not. Both concepts share a number of characteristics and ensuing problems which revolve around definitions and limitations, the range of phenomena to be included, and the responsibility of collective actors and agents versus individual perpetrators. Both have generated new typologies and conceptualisations as the limitations of traditional criminological concepts became visible when applied to the analysis of white collar crime and state crime (see e.g. Rothe, 2009). No criminologist would doubt the quantum leap in criminological thinking that Sutherland instigated with the term ‘white collar crime’, and Chambliss with ‘state-organised crime’ in 1989.