Globalisation, green crime, human rights and state crimes 2

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  • Globalisation, green crime, human rights and state crimes 2
    • Green crime
      • Beck - most threats to human well being and the eco-system are now human-made rather than natural disasters.
      • Late modern society - increase in productivity and technology has created new 'manufactured risks'.
      • Most involve harm to the environment and have serious consequences for humanity e.g. climate change.
      • Beck describes late modern society as 'global risk society'.
      • There are differences in opinions about what constitutes as 'green' crime due to the transgressions of boundaries of the national and international laws.
      • However, green criminology doesn't have clear boundaries and that anything can be a 'green' crime if it harms the environment.
      • Two views regarding green crime.
        • 1. Traditional criminology - an action that breaks the national or international laws.
          • Criticised for accepting official definitions of environmental problems and crimes, which are often shaped by big businesses to serve their own interests.
        • 2. Green criminology - an action not yet defined as a crime but is equally harmful to the environment.
          • Criticised for making subjective value judgements about which actions ought to be regarded as wrong.
      • Two views of harm.
        • Nation-states and Transnational Corporations - anthropocentric view (human-centred) of environmental harm. Humans have the right to dominate nature, putting economic growth before the environment.
        • Green criminology - ecocentric view that sees humans and their environment as interdependent, so that environmental harm hurts humans too.
      • South - two types of green crime.
        • Primary green crimes - results directing from the destruction and degradation of the earth's resources e.g. air pollution, deforestation, species decline and water pollution.
        • Secondary green crimes - flouting of rules aimed at preventing or regulating environmental disaster e.g. state violence against oppositional groups and hazardous waste and organised crime.
      • Toxic waste dumping - legally it;s expensive, so businesses may duspose illegal using 'eco-mafias' who profit from illegal dumping.
      • Illegal dumping is globalised - Western businesses ship their waste to Third World countries were costs are lower and safety standards are non-existent.
    • State crimes
      • Green & Ward - define state crime as 'illegal or deviant activities perpetrated by, or with the complicity of, state agencies'.
      • McLaughlin - four categories of state crime:
        • Political crimes - corruption and censorship e.g. North Korea
        • Economic crimes - official violations of health and safety laws.
        • Social/cultural crimes - institutional racism.
        • Crimes by security and police forces - genocide and torture e.g. Guantanamo Bay
      • State's power enables it to commit large-scale crimes with wide-spread victimisation e.g. Cambodia 1975-1978 the Khmer Rouge government killed around 1/5 of the countries population.
      • State's power also means it can conceal its crimes or evade punishment more easily as they define what is criminal, and they manage the CJS.
      • The principle of national sovereignty makes it very difficult for external authorities like the UN  to intervene or apply international conventions against genocide, war crimes etc.
      • State crime can be examined through the notion of human rights.
      • Most 'definitions of human rights include natural rights e.g. rights to life and liberty, and civil rights e.g. the right to vote.
      • A right is an entitlement and acts as a protection against the power of the state over an individual.
      • From a human rights perspective, the state can be seen as a perpetrator of crime and not simply as the authority that defines and punishes crime.
      • Cohen - human rights and state crime are increaslying central to both political debate and criminology because of the growing international human rights movement and focus on victims.
        • States conceal and legitimate their human rights.
          • Dictatorships - simply deny committing human rights abuse.
          • Democratic states - legitimate their actions following a three stage 'spiral of state denial' - it didn't happen, then if there's proof, it's something else, not abuse, and if it is abuse, it's justified e.g. to protect national secruity.
          • Neutralisation theory - the way states and their officials 'neutralise' their crimes, including denial of victim, injury, responsibility, condemning the condemners and appealing to higher loyalties.
      • Schwendingers - should define crime in terms of the violation of basic human rights, and the denial of individuals' human rights must be regarded as criminal.
        • States that practise imperialism, racism or sexism, or inflict economic exploitation on their citizens, are committing crime.
  • Green & Ward - define state crime as 'illegal or deviant activities perpetrated by, or with the complicity of, state agencies'.
  • Schwendingers - should define crime in terms of the violation of basic human rights, and the denial of individuals' human rights must be regarded as criminal.
    • States that practise imperialism, racism or sexism, or inflict economic exploitation on their citizens, are committing crime.

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