Globalization, green crime, human rights and state crimes

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  • Created by: Joel
  • Created on: 01-05-13 11:52


Globalisation: The increasing interconnectedness of societies.
The global criminal economy, globalisation has brought about the spread of transnational organised crime. Globalisation creates new opportunities for crime, new means and new offences. eg;
Arms trafficking: to illegal regimes, guerrilla groups and terrorists.
Smuggling of illegal immigrants: for example the Chinese triads make an estimated $2.5 billion annually.
Trafficking in nuclear materials: especially from the former communist countries.

Global risk consciousness: globalisation creates new insecurities and produces a new mentality of 'risk conciousness' in which risk is seen as global rather than tied to particular places.

Ian Taylor (1997) argues that globalisation has led to changes in the pattern and extent of crime. By giving free rein to market forces, globalisation has created greater inequality and rising crime.

Globalisation has created new criminal opportunities and patterns on a local level. Glocal organisations are organisations now with international links. 

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Green Crime

Green crime: crime against the environment.
'Global risk society' and the environment, unlike dangers of the past such as drought and famine that were natural. Ulrich Beck (1992) says we're now in danger from our own doing, man made risks, "manufactured risks". Manufactured risks are a result og the massive increase in productivity and technology. Eg, global warming.
Green Criminology; but what if the pollution that causes global warming or acid rain is perfectly legal? there are two answers.
1. Traditional criminology: they have not been concerned with this behaviour as its broken no law. However Situ and Emmons define environmental crime as 'an unauthorised act or omission that violates the law'. crit: accepts official definitions which are often shaped by powerful groups and big businesses to serve their own interests.
2. Green criminology: takes a more radical approach, Rob White (2008) argues that the proper subject of criminology is any action that harms the the physical environment and/or the human and non human animals within it, even if no law has been broken. 
Primary green crime: crimes that result directly from the destruction and degradation of the earths resources. Eg air pollution, deforestation.
Secondary green crime: crime that grows out of the flouting of rules aimed at preventing or regulating environmental disasters. Eg hazardous waste and organised crime 

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State Crime

State crime: is defined as those illegal activities carried out by the agents of the state.
State crime is one of the most serious forms of crime for two reasons:
1) The scale of state crime: The power of the state enables it to commit extremely large scale crimes with widespread victimisation. The state has the monopoly to inflict massive harm.
2) The state is the course of law:  the states power to make the law also means that it can avoid defining its own harmful actions as criminal.
Human rights and state crime 
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, in this view the definition of crime is inevitably political. If the people accept a legal definition they risk becoming a subservient to the state that makes the law. Herman and Julia Schwendiger (1970) argue its sociologists role should be to defend human rights, if necessary against the state and its laws. criticism: there is only a limited agreement on what counts as a human right. 

S.Cohen - 'Spiral of denial', he says after dictatorships deny committing human right abuses it goes through 3 stages, 1) 'it didn't happen' 2) 'if it did happen, it was something else',
3) 'Even if it is was what you say it is, its justified.'. 

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