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Crime, Law and Social Change
Journal Prestige (SJR): 0.357
Citation Impact (citeScore): 1
Number of Followers: 459  
  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 1573-0751 - ISSN (Online) 0925-4994
Published by Springer-Verlag Homepage  [2350 journals]
  • New perspectives on crime, violence and insecurity in Latin America
    • Authors: Markus Schultze-Kraft; Fernando A. Chinchilla; Marcelo Moriconi
      Pages: 465 - 473
      Abstract: This article introduces a Crime, Law & Social Change special issue on rethinking organised crime, collective violence and insecurity in contemporary Latin America. The five contributions, which among them cover the cases of Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala and Mexico, address the puzzle of why and how in the midst of the world’s most serious crime and violence crisis ‘stability’ and ‘political order’ are nonetheless maintained. Taking a critical distance to conventional scholarship on these problems, the present collection of papers shifts the focus from one on how democratic regimes and formal institutions of the state are affected to a broader one that puts the spotlight on the ‘real politics’ and ‘real governance’ of crime and violence in the region. Cultural aspects of the ‘collapse of legality’, the holding power of informal institutions and the workings of ‘crimilegal orders’ and ‘criminalized electoral politics’ are explored through variegated conceptual and methodological approaches drawn from political science, criminology, sociology, social psychology, cultural studies and investigative journalism.
      PubDate: 2018-06-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10611-017-9758-3
      Issue No: Vol. 69, No. 4 (2018)
  • Making peace in seas of crime: crimilegal order and armed conflict
           termination in Colombia
    • Authors: Markus Schultze-Kraft
      Pages: 475 - 496
      Abstract: The relationship between organized crime and political order in the contemporary developing world and in transition countries is still little understood. Building on the seminal accounts of political order by Weber, Fukuyama and North, Wallis and Weingast, this article introduces the concept of crimilegality. Crimilegal orders are neither ‘modern’ nor ‘non-modern’ but combine and integrate elements of both types of order. They are characterized by the blurring of the social boundaries between legality and illegality and/or criminality. What is formally illegal and/or criminal may be deemed legitimate, while what is formally legal may be considered to be illegitimate. The resulting crimilegal governance arrangements, which involve coordination between a range of state and non-state actors, serve (illicit) economic interests but are also reflective of broader particularistic concerns about guaranteeing political stability and the de facto exercise of political authority, as well as the physical security of those in power and, somewhat paradoxically, their judicial impunity. In such orders the state’s monopoly on the use of force tends to be replaced by oligopolies of coercion and high levels of violence are not uncommon, though they are also not standard. Using the current Colombian peace process as an example, this article argues that due to eminently political reasons violently contending state and non-state actors, both with notorious criminal pedigrees, can reach agreement on ending armed conflict and decide to cooperate to recover the primacy of legality. However, whether this type of bargaining game can ultimately lead to the positive ‘legalization’ of a crimilegal order, such as the one in Colombia, remains an open question.
      PubDate: 2018-06-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10611-017-9759-2
      Issue No: Vol. 69, No. 4 (2018)
  • Reframing illegalities: crime, cultural values and ideas of success (in
    • Authors: Marcelo Moriconi
      Pages: 497 - 518
      Abstract: The expansion and entrenchment of insecurity, organized crime and violence in Latin America has involved the participation of public officials. Without this participation, it would be impossible to create the necessary niches of impunity to enable the growth of organized crime and violence. Using a hermeneutic-interpretative approach, this essay shows how the norm of legality has lost its moral persuasive power as a categorical imperative while certain illegalities have acquired social and political legitimacy. The purpose of this article is to reflect on the under-examined impact of cultural values on criminality. It also describes how the dominant narratives surrounding illegality and policies designed to reduce criminality are limited by a lack of consideration of the way that broader cultural values are permissive of corrupt and illegal behaviour. This article considers current social norms, interests, values, ideas of success, and the lack of legitimate pathways to achieve prosperity and social recognition to provide a fresh perspective on the discourse surrounding illegality. For the purpose of illustration this essay uses examples, evidence, interviews and discourses drawn from the context of Argentina. Far from being an anomaly, illegality is a fundamental part of both social inter-relations and has become institutionalised as a part of the behaviour of state entities. Illegality has become not only the norm but is seen as an effective and legitimate means to gain social success and prestige.
      PubDate: 2018-06-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10611-017-9760-9
      Issue No: Vol. 69, No. 4 (2018)
  • Public security in private hands: the case of Guatemala’s Carlos
    • Authors: Steven Dudley
      Pages: 519 - 531
      Abstract: The following case study concerns the period in which Carlos Vielman, a well-heeled Guatemalan businessman from a prominent family, became the interior minister of the Óscar Berger administration. While minister, Vielman oversaw the creation of several special units that “acted as an organized crime group,” according to Guatemalan and international investigators. He, along with several of his police deputies were eventually charged for murder. He was later exonerated by a court in Spain, while others were prosecuted. This case study delves into that period, exploring how Vielman’s ministry represented an extension of the Guatemalan elite’s approach towards security and the government writ large to thwart rivals, regardless of the violent and criminal consequences.
      PubDate: 2018-06-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10611-017-9762-7
      Issue No: Vol. 69, No. 4 (2018)
  • A Hard-to- Escape Situation Informal Pacts, Kingpin Strategies, and
           Collective Violence in Mexico
    • Authors: Fernando A. Chinchilla
      Pages: 533 - 552
      Abstract: Mexico has for an extended period been experiencing homicide rates above, or close to, epidemic levels. Instead of examining why formal institutional reform geared at strengthening democracy has not helped to foment peace and security, as most of the research on collective violence in Latin America and the Caribbean does, this paper focuses on the gap between formal and informal institutions, and continuities rather than points of rupture. I argue that in Mexico, there is a gap between formal institutions (which define how the country should be) and informal institutions (which constrain actual strategic choices). I apply a path-dependence approach to examine what factors have been reproducing collective violence over time, finding that the prevalence of protection rackets (operated by non-state actors at the subnational level) and the use of kingpin strategies (both by state and non-state actors) explain collective violence in the past but also in the present. In the past decades, informal pacts and kingpin strategies have changed in Mexico, but they have survived and adapted to the new formally democratic institutional setting. For the period 1989-2017, I identify three critical junctures that changed the rules of the game, four mechanisms of inertia, and two factors of lock-in that make it difficult to reduce collective violence.
      PubDate: 2018-06-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10611-017-9763-6
      Issue No: Vol. 69, No. 4 (2018)
  • Criminalized electoral politics in Brazilian urban peripheries
    • Authors: Juan Albarracín
      Pages: 553 - 575
      Abstract: Criminal violence can be used to sustain and construct local political orders that undermine democratic processes. In this article, I conceptualize how criminal violence and clientelism are jointly used at local levels (e.g. neighborhoods, municipalities) to influence electoral outcomes in Brazilian urban peripheries. I call this criminalized electoral politics. With the help of two dimensions–the nature of the relationship between political and criminal actors, as well as the type of activity that provides a criminal group’s primary source of income–I construct a descriptive typology that allows me to classify different forms of criminalized electoral politics prevalent in urban spaces. Throughout the text I use examples from the metropolitan area of Rio de Janeiro to illustrate cases of criminalized electoral politics. In this way, this article offers a conceptual foundation to understand how criminal violence can affect the electoral linkages between citizens and politicians and, therefore, the quality of democracy and forms of local order in developing countries.
      PubDate: 2018-06-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10611-017-9761-8
      Issue No: Vol. 69, No. 4 (2018)
  • Urban space and the social control of incivilities: perceptions of space
           influencing the regulation of anti-social behaviour
    • Authors: Nina Peršak; Anna Di Ronco
      Pages: 329 - 347
      Abstract: Contemporary cities are increasingly governed through space. In this article, we examine how urban space and perceptions thereof can influence the social control in the area of incivilities. To this end, we first inspect the existing literature, in particular the socio-spatial studies that emphasise the importance of culture and values in the interaction with social control. Partly drawing on examples from our previous studies, we suggest that people’s perceptions of urban space (influenced by cultural symbols, social and media representations, aesthetics and other values) affect their perceptions of incivilities, while the latter often determine or at least importantly contribute to the shaping of the social control of incivilities. We further highlight the role of gentrification as a medium and a tool of social control. The paper concludes by discussing implications of this for the possible future, more integrated and interdisciplinary research on the social control of incivilities in the city.
      PubDate: 2018-04-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10611-017-9739-6
      Issue No: Vol. 69, No. 3 (2018)
  • Fighting corruption in a time of crisis: Lessons from a radical regulatory
           shift experience
    • Authors: Maxime Reeves-Latour; Carlo Morselli
      Pages: 349 - 370
      Abstract: This study investigates the establishment of new anticorruption structures arising from a radical regulatory shift experience. Rooted in a recent state-corporate crime scandal overlapping Quebec’s construction industry and political domain, we examine the organizational adaptation of regulatory entities across three major shifts: increased police resources; enhanced regulatory collaborations; and an overreliance on penal channels to prosecute wrongdoers. Based on interviews conducted with several police officials and regulatory agencies (inspectors, managers, and directors), this article presents the enforcement challenges experienced by anticorruption forces during this transition. Specific themes concern intra- and inter-agency struggles, media scrutiny, and prosecution. The study illustrates how heightened prosecution may come as a necessary step for many regulatory actors, albeit constituting a highly perilous road over the long-term. Such work remains critical in assessing contemporary anticorruption and regulatory progresses.
      PubDate: 2018-04-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10611-017-9741-z
      Issue No: Vol. 69, No. 3 (2018)
  • Living on the edge: Juvenile justice work as a form of edgework
    • Authors: Brian Stout; Ann Dadich; Hassan Hosseinzadeh; James Herbert
      Pages: 371 - 384
      Abstract: This article considers how the concept of edgework can help to understand the work of staff members within juvenile justice centres – individuals who voluntarily engage in risk and negotiate boundaries to: respond to institutional routines, and/or express the institutional and cultural constraints of the emerging social order. The article describes edgework and its use in occupational settings, including criminal justice. It then presents data from an Australian study to demonstrate the stressful and sometimes dangerous conditions that staff members within juvenile justice centres experience. With reference to these data, the article argues that edgework can reveal essential paradoxes in juvenile justice work. This in turn can help to understand workers’ motivation(s) and what might be needed to recruit, support, and retain juvenile justice workers.
      PubDate: 2018-04-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10611-017-9740-0
      Issue No: Vol. 69, No. 3 (2018)
  • Corporate lobbying and criminalisation
    • Authors: David Rodríguez Goyes
      Pages: 401 - 419
      PubDate: 2018-04-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10611-017-9745-8
      Issue No: Vol. 69, No. 3 (2018)
  • What’s wrong with corruption' Messages from confessions in China
    • Authors: Juan Wang
      Pages: 447 - 463
      Abstract: Primarily based on contextualized discourse analysis of confessions from 119 convicted party cadres on corruption charges in China, this article makes two arguments. First, these confession texts are propaganda that signals the government’s strength to punish outliers. Second, using such warning to deter corruption is subject to escalating scale of corruption given social pressure for success and peer learning among grafters. This article contributes to the scholarship of corruption by suggesting possible mechanisms of endogenous reproduction of corruption within the officialdom. It also presents confession as a new type of information communication among political elites for studies of authoritarian regimes.
      PubDate: 2018-04-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10611-017-9746-7
      Issue No: Vol. 69, No. 3 (2018)
  • Compliance with anti-human trafficking policies: the mediating effect of
    • Authors: Cassandra DiRienzo
      Abstract: Human Trafficking is an atrocious crime that represents a gross assault on human rights and the United Nations states that it is among the fast growing types of criminal activity. Recognizing the need for counteractive measures, in 2000, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children (Protocol). Using measures of country compliance with the Protocol, past research offers empirical evidence that corruption is a primary deterrent to compliance. Further, previous field studies and surveys suggest that a greater share of women in government should positively contribute to country compliance; however, this result is largely not borne out in empirical studies. It is hypothesized that the effect of the share of women in government on compliance is fully mediated by corruption, indicating that there is an indirect effect of women in government on compliance, rather than a direct effect. This hypothesis is empirically tested using a mediation model and the results indicate that the indirect effect is statistically significant. The empirical results presented suggest that a greater percentage of women in government reduces country corruption, which in turn increases country compliance with the Protocol. The policy implications of these findings are discussed and include suggestions to enhance female participation in government.
      PubDate: 2018-06-04
      DOI: 10.1007/s10611-018-9780-0
  • ‘C’ is for commercial collaboration: enterprise and structure in the
           ‘middle market’ of counterfeit alcohol distribution
    • Authors: Jon Spencer; Nicholas Lord; Katie Benson; Elisa Bellotti
      Abstract: This article utilising the work of Pearson and Hobbs [1] defines the middle market in counterfeit alcohol. Drugs markets have a resemblance to counterfeit alcohol markets in as much that they share the illicit nature of the product and the need to distribute the product at the ‘street’ level. Drawing on two case studies taken from a European regulator the article details the dynamics of the market, the enterprise actions of the actors and how law enforcement responses can, in certain circumstances, make the task of the distributors easier. The traditional notions of organised crime are challenged and organisation of counterfeit alcohol markets is viewed as being reliant upon those who have legitimate access to the market and are able to develop networks of commercial collaborators who by their position in the legitimate market are able to conceal their illicit actions.
      PubDate: 2018-06-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10611-018-9781-z
  • Policing labor: the power of private security guards to search workers in
    • Abstract: The losses caused by worker theft is one of the most concerning security problems for corporations. Private policing of the workplace is central to cutting down on such losses and keeping up profits. One of the most frequently used methods in such policing is searching workers. Despite the importance of searches and their potential for intrusion into individuals’ right to privacy, the normative bases for and limits to the use of this power have so far been little studied. The aim of this paper is to analyze the legal foundations and limits imposed by the Brazilian State so that private security guards can conduct searches in the workplace. The analysis is based on a qualitative study of Brazilian labor law and a qualitative/quantitative study of 376 judicial decisions on searches collected randomly in two Brazilian states between 2010 and 2013. The data shows that searches can be conducted in the workplace based on the employer’s right to manage production and protect their property. It also indicates the existence of relatively flexible limits to searches. Only a minority of the courts impose restrictions on searches similar to those set for police officers. Most judges allow more extensive searches than those permitted within the scope of public justice systems. The consequences of these findings are discussed.
      PubDate: 2018-05-27
      DOI: 10.1007/s10611-018-9783-x
  • Performance-based evaluation, state compensation and judicial ecology:
           dynamics of China’s detention review practice
    • Authors: Xifen Lin; Wei Shen
      Abstract: Through participatory observation and in-depth interviews with thirty-four practitioners, this article pierces the veil of the dynamics of China’s pretrial detention system by looking into various socio-legal factors which may affect law enforcement in China. When the prosecutors make their decisions on detention in practice, a variety of factors such as state compensation, performance-based evaluation as well as judicial ecology such as public opinion, power struggle, and judicial coordination all play a role. The dynamics of China’s detention system, through governing the prosecutors’ daily operations and the procuratorate’s routine policy-making, often distort the pretrial detention system that is mainly regulated by the Criminal Procedure Law and in practice, result in a high rate of custody. The dynamics also suggest a non-autonomous criminal justice system in China, meaning that extra-legal factors usually influence, complicate, and sometimes even re-direct China’s development of the rule of law.
      PubDate: 2018-05-18
      DOI: 10.1007/s10611-018-9782-y
  • The impact of cybercrime on businesses: a novel conceptual framework and
           its application to Belgium
    • Authors: Letizia Paoli; Jonas Visschers; Cedric Verstraete
      Abstract: Despite growing indications and fears about the impact of cybercrime, only few academic studies have so far been published on the topic to complement those published by consultancy firms, cybersecurity companies and private institutes. The review of all these studies shows that there is no consensus on how to define and measure cybercrime or its impact. Against this background, this article pursues two aims: 1) to develop a thorough conceptual framework to define and operationalize cybercrime affecting businesses as well as its impact, harms, and costs; and 2) to test this conceptual framework with a survey of businesses based in Belgium, which was administered in summer 2016 and elicited 310 valid responses. Consisting of five types, our conceptualization of cybercrime is, unlike others, technology-neutral and fully compatible with the legislation. Drawing on Greenfield and Paoli’s Harm Assessment Framework (The British Journal of Criminology, 53, 864–885, 2013), we understand impact as the overall harm of cybercrime, that is, the “sum” of the harms to material support, or costs, and the harms to other interest dimensions i.e., functional (or operational) integrity, reputation and privacy. Whereas we ask respondents to provide a monetary estimate of the costs, respondents are invited to rate the severity of the harms on the basis of an ordinal scale. We claim that this “double track” gives a fuller, more valid assessment of cybercrime impact. Whereas most affected businesses do not report major costs or harm, 15% to 20% of them rate the harms to their internal operational activities as serious or more, with cyber extortion regarded as most harmful.
      PubDate: 2018-05-16
      DOI: 10.1007/s10611-018-9774-y
  • Institutions and the culture dimension of corruption in Nigeria
    • Authors: Kempe Ronald Hope
      Abstract: Mention Nigeria to most people in the world and the retort is likely to be some reference to how corrupt the country is. Institutions, rules, and norms of behaviour have adapted toward the ultimate goal of predatory gain. When corruption becomes institutionalised in a society, it infiltrates the value-system, and it becomes a norm, part and parcel of culture. Nonetheless, one complicating and seemingly contradictory factor in this notion of the culture of corruption is that the majority of people in Nigeria do not internalise corruption as something morally acceptable. On the contrary, even if they have to take part in corrupt practices to get by or even to survive, they usually consider the practices as morally wrong. This work identifies, discusses, and analyses the weakness of institutions and the use and abuse of cultural norms as the primary reasons for endemic corruption in Nigeria.
      PubDate: 2018-05-12
      DOI: 10.1007/s10611-018-9779-6
  • Leaving on a jet plane: the trade in fraudulently obtained airline tickets
    • Authors: Alice Hutchings
      Abstract: Every day, hundreds of people fly on airline tickets that have been obtained fraudulently. This crime script analysis provides an overview of the trade in these tickets, drawing on interviews with industry and law enforcement, and an analysis of an online blackmarket. Tickets are purchased by complicit travellers or resellers from the online blackmarket. Victim travellers obtain tickets from fake travel agencies or malicious insiders. Compromised credit cards used to be the main method to purchase tickets illegitimately. However, as fraud detection systems improved, offenders displaced to other methods, including compromised loyalty point accounts, phishing, and compromised business accounts. In addition to complicit and victim travellers, fraudulently obtained tickets are used for transporting mules, and for trafficking and smuggling. This research details current prevention approaches, and identifies additional interventions, aimed at the act, the actor, and the marketplace.
      PubDate: 2018-05-08
      DOI: 10.1007/s10611-018-9777-8
  • Penal monitoring in the United States: lessons from the American
           experience and prospects for change
    • Authors: Jonathan Simon
      Abstract: While independent penal monitoring has a history as old as the prison itself, the United States has historically lacked a robust system of monitoring at the federal, state and local level. Studies of the protection of human rights in prisons, and growing experience with robust monitoring systems, like those promoted by the United Nations through the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture (OPCAT) and the Council of Europe highlight the peril for the United States which is not a signatory to OPCAT and has largely failed to create adequate independent systems of monitoring. When practiced routinely monitoring creates conditions that make extreme turns in penal policy less likely and protect human rights in prisons when populist pressures do build. That peril has come to pass as mass incarceration policies have made overcrowding ubiquitous and undiscovered violations of human rights on a mass scale almost inevitable. Instead of routine independent monitoring, the US has relied almost exclusively on judicial decrees, some of which involve independent monitoring. Unfortunately, while courts have great power to order reforms, and have under some conditions produced systemic prison reforms, the adversarial nature of American legalism makes standards based on litigation subject to enforcement resistance by correctional systems. Even this path, however, has been largely foreclosed by the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1996 (PLRA) which largely cut off prisoner access to the federal courts just as prisons were entering the most perilous phase of overcrowding. Yet it is possible that today the growing human rights crisis in prison and the loss of confidence in correctional leadership to fix those problems is opening up space to place independent penal monitoring at the center of human rights protection in prisons. As the US carceral state enters profound crisis of legitimacy monitoring, in prisons and in analog form across the carceral state institutions, can play a crucial role in making correctional governance both more legitimate and more effective at promoting the human rights of prisoners.
      PubDate: 2018-05-04
      DOI: 10.1007/s10611-017-9724-0
  • The penalization of protest under neoliberalism: managing resistance
           through punishment
    • Authors: Ignacio González-Sánchez; Manuel Maroto-Calatayud
      Abstract: The repression of anti-austerity protests in Spain from 2011 to 2014 constitutes an example of how neoliberal developments are facilitated by the penal system as it limits political resistances to the imposition of precarious working conditions and social cuts. The limits imposed on contentious politics are both material (consisting of banning acts that are prominent in social movement’s repertoire of contention, fining demonstrators, etc.) and symbolic (consisting of transforming the meaning of legitimate politics by imposing new legal and political definitions). This case study is used to illustrate the interconnection between labor markets, social policies and the repression of social protest, and to elaborate on Wacquant’s approach to the relationship between punishment and other social institutions. It is at such times of political and economic crisis when institutional interconnections seem particularly exposed, arguably enabling more profound analyses.
      PubDate: 2018-05-02
      DOI: 10.1007/s10611-018-9776-9
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Heriot-Watt University
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Fax: +00 44 (0)131 4513327
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