Critical Criminology

, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 217–236 | Cite as

Unmasking the Crimes of the Powerful

  • Steve Tombs
  • Dave Whyte

Abstract

Even in formally open, liberal, democratic states, a series of barriers exist as obstacles to critical criminologists who wish to conduct research that scrutinises the activities of powerful states and corporations. Much evidence suggests that in the current political climate, the barring of access to sources of data, neo-liberal re-configurations in the funding of research, and the narrowing of publishing and dissemination opportunities to counter-hegemonic voices are severely limiting the ability to conduct critical research. This article reports on recent experiences of researchers concerned with unmasking the crimes of the powerful and argues that, despite the obstacles power sources use to obscure and mystify the illegal and violent practices engaged in by states and corporations, there remains fertile space around research agendas, and in universities, for critical researchers to exploit. To gain insight from the ways in which researchers can, and do, establish alternative agendas, this article seeks to explore some of the principles that might inform and encourage those forms of resistance, and to establish how critical criminologists might continue to subject the powerful to scrutiny.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Alvesalo, A. and Tombs, S. (2002). Working for criminalisation of economic offending: Contradictions for critical criminology? Critical Criminology 10(4).Google Scholar
  2. Alvesalo, A. and Virta, E. (2003). Researching regulators and the paradoxes of access. In S. Tombs and D. Whyte (eds.), Unmasking the Crimes of the Powerful.Google Scholar
  3. Ballinger, A. (2003). Researching and redefining state crime: Feminism and the capital punishment of women. In S. Tombs and D. Whyte (eds.), Unmasking the Crimes of the Powerful.Google Scholar
  4. Barak, G. (1988). Newsmaking criminology: Reflections on the media, intellectuals, and crime. Justice Quarterly 5(4), 565-587.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Barnett, R. (1994). The Limits of Competence: Knowledge, Higher Education and Society. Buckingham: Society for Research into Higher Education and Open University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Beck, U. (1992). Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  7. Becker, H. (1967). Whose side are we on? Social Problems 14(3), 234-347.Google Scholar
  8. Berrington, E., Jemphrey, A. and Scraton, P. (2003). Silencing the View from Below: The institutional regulation of critical research. In S. Tombs and D. Whyte (eds.), Unmasking the Crimes of the Powerful.Google Scholar
  9. Bosely, S. (2000). $2m plot to discredit smoking study exposed. The Guardian 7 April.Google Scholar
  10. Braithwaite, J. (1984). Corporate Crime in the Pharmaceutical Industry. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  11. Calavita, K., Pontell, H. and Tillman, R. (1999). Big Money Crime. Fraud and politics in the Savings and Loan Crisis. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  12. Christie, N. (1997). Four blocks against insight: Notes on the oversocialisation of criminologists. Theoretical Criminology 1(1), 13-23.Google Scholar
  13. Coleman, R. (2003). Researching the Emergent City-States: articulating the proper objects of power and CCTV. In S. Tombs and D. Whyte (eds.), Unmasking the Crimes of the Powerful.Google Scholar
  14. Currie, J. and Newson, J. (eds.) (1998). Universities and Globalisation. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  15. Dyer, C. (2000). Home office censors report from anti-torture group. The Guardian 13 January.Google Scholar
  16. Epstein, B. (2001). Corporate culture and the academic left. In G. Philo and D. Miller (eds.), Market Killing: What the Free Market Does and What Social Scientists Can Do about It. Harlow, Essex: Pearson Education.Google Scholar
  17. Fooks, G. (2003). In the valley of the blind the one eyed man is king: Corporate crime and the myopia of financial regulation. In S. Tombs and D. Whyte (eds.), Unmasking the Crimes of the Powerful.Google Scholar
  18. Freiberg, A. (1997). Commercial confidentiality, criminal justice and the public interest. Current Issues in Criminal Justice 9, 125-152.Google Scholar
  19. Geis, G., Mobley, A. and Shichor, D. (1999). Private prisons, criminological research, and conflict of interest: A case study. Crime and Delinquency 45, 372-388.Google Scholar
  20. Geis, G. and Goff, C. (1983). Introduction to Sutherland, E. White Collar Crime: The Uncut Version. London: Yale University.Google Scholar
  21. Gelbspan, R. (1997). Hot Air on Global Warming: science and academia in the service of the fossil fuel industry. Multinational Monitor 18(11) November.Google Scholar
  22. Gill, S. and Law, D. (1988). The Global Political Economy. Hemel Hempstead: Harvester Wheatsheaf.Google Scholar
  23. Gouldner, A. (1973). For Sociology. Harmondsworth: Penguin.Google Scholar
  24. Green, P. (2003). Researching the Turkish state. In S. Tombs and D. Whyte (eds.), Unmasking the Crimes of the Powerful.Google Scholar
  25. Harris, R. (1983). Gotcha. London: Faber.Google Scholar
  26. Hillyard, P. (2003). The secret state: Researching alleged conspiracies. In S. Tombs and D. Whyte (eds.), Unmasking the Crimes of the Powerful.Google Scholar
  27. Hillyard, P., Sim, J., Tombs, S. and Whyte, D. (forthcoming). Leaving a 'stain upon the silence': Contemporary criminology and the politics of dissent. British Journal of Criminology.Google Scholar
  28. Hobsbawm, E. (1998). On History. London: Abacus.Google Scholar
  29. Hughes, G. (1996). The politics of criminological research. In R. Sapsford (ed.), Researching Crime and Criminal Justice. Milton Keynes: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  30. Israel, M. (2000). The commercialisation of university-based criminological research In Australia. The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology 33(1), 1-20.Google Scholar
  31. Kelsey, J. (1998) Privatizing the universities. Journal of Law and Society 25(1).Google Scholar
  32. McClung Lee, A. (1978). Sociology for Whom? New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  33. McNeil, K. (2002). The war on academic freedom. The Nation. 25 November (web edition: www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?I=20021125&s=macneil).Google Scholar
  34. Miller, D. (1994). Don't Mention the War: Northern Ireland, Propaganda and the Media. London: Pluto.Google Scholar
  35. Monbiot, G. (2000). Captive State: The Corporate Takeover of Britain. London: MacMillan.Google Scholar
  36. Newson, J. and Buchbinder, H. (1988). The University Means Business. Toronto: Garamond Press.Google Scholar
  37. Orr, L. (1997). Globalisation and the universities: Towards the market university? Social Dynamics 23, 42-67.Google Scholar
  38. Ovetz, R. (1996). Turning resistance into rebellion: Student movements and the entrepreneurialisation of the universities. Capital and Class 58, 113-152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Pearce, F. (2003). Holy wars and spiritual revitalisation. In S. Tombs and D. Whyte (eds.), Unmasking the Crimes of the Powerful.Google Scholar
  40. Philo, G. and McLaughlin, G. (1995). The British media and the Gulf War. In G. Philo (ed.), Glasgow Media Group Reader, volume II. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  41. Philo, G. and Miller, D. (2001). Cultural compliance: Media/cultural studies and social science. In G. Philo and D. Miller (eds.), Market Killing: What the Free Market Does and What Social Scientists Can Do about It. Harlow, Essex: Pearson Education.Google Scholar
  42. Power, C. (2003). Telling it like it is: Cultural Prejudice, Power and the Qualitative Process. In S. Tombs and D. Whyte (eds.), Unmasking the Crimes of the Powerful.Google Scholar
  43. Presdee, M. and Walters, R. (1998). The perils and politics of criminological research and the treat to academic freedom. Current Issues in Criminal Justice 10, 156-167.Google Scholar
  44. Punch, M. (1996). Dirty Business: Exploring Corporate Misconduct. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  45. Punch, M. (2000). Suite violence: Why managers manage and corporations kill. Crime Law and Social Change 33, 243-280.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Reed, M. (1989). The Sociology of Management. New York: Harvester Wheatsheaf.Google Scholar
  47. Scott, P. (1998). Massification, internationalisation and globalisation. In P. Scott (ed.), The Globalisation of Higher Education. Buckingham: Society for Research into Higher Education and Open University Press.Google Scholar
  48. Sim, J. (2003).Whose side are we not on? Researching medical power in prisons. In S. Tombs and D. Whyte (eds.), Unmasking the Crimes of the Powerful.Google Scholar
  49. Slaughter, S. and Leslie, L. (1997). Academic Capitalism: Politics, Policies and the Entrepreneurial University. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  50. Snider, L. (2000). The sociology of corporate crime: An obituary (or: whose knowledge claims have legs?). Theoretical Criminology 4(2), 169-206.Google Scholar
  51. Snider, L. (2003). No funding, no access, then you get sued: Methodological obstacles to studying corporate crime. In S. Tombs and D. Whyte (eds.), Unmasking the Crimes of the Powerful.Google Scholar
  52. Stanley, E. (2002). An attack on truth? In P. Scraton (ed.), Beyond September 11th: An Anthology of Dissent. London: Pluto.Google Scholar
  53. Tombs, S. and Whyte, D. (eds.) (2003a). Unmasking the Crimes of the Powerful: scrutinizing states and corporations. New York: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
  54. Tombs, S. and Whyte, D. (2003b). Scrutinising the powerful: Crime, contemporary political economy and critical social research. In S. Tombs and D. Whyte (eds.), Unmasking the Crimes of the Powerful.Google Scholar
  55. Tombs, S. and Whyte, D. (2001). Media reporting of crime: Defining corporate crime out of existence? Criminal Justice Matters 43 (Spring).Google Scholar
  56. Travis, A. (1994). Ministers suppress research. The Guardian 4 July.Google Scholar
  57. Tunnell, K. (1993). Political crime and pedagogy: A content analysis of criminology and criminal justice texts. Journal of Criminal Justice Education 4, 101-114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Tweedale, G. (2003). Researching corporate crime: A business historian's perspective. In S. Tombs and D. Whyte (eds.), Unmasking the Crimes of the Powerful.Google Scholar
  59. Tweedale, G. (2000). Magic Mineral to Killer Dust. Turner & Newall and the Asbestos Hazard. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steve Tombs
  • Dave Whyte

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations