Performative regulation: a case study in how powerful people avoid criminal labels

Mackenzie, S. and Green, P. (2008) Performative regulation: a case study in how powerful people avoid criminal labels. British Journal of Criminology, 48(2), pp. 138-153. (doi:10.1093/bjc/azm074)

Mackenzie, S. and Green, P. (2008) Performative regulation: a case study in how powerful people avoid criminal labels. British Journal of Criminology, 48(2), pp. 138-153. (doi:10.1093/bjc/azm074)

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Abstract

This paper explores the role of invested powerful business actors in the criminalisation process as applied to the illicit antiquities market. We present a case study of the precise mechanics of the role played by trade interests in the formation of the Dealing in Cultural Objects (Offences) Act 2003. This process involved the trade’s entering appearance in the legislative process and neutralising the possible constraining effects on its members of the new criminal offence which was to be created. We begin by exploring the political, historical and economic context in which discussion of the terms of the 2003 Act first began. We then follow the Act from its genesis through its various stages of drafting and re-drafting, to its enactment. This case study of a single piece of legislation provides further data to add to the line of prior research that illustrates that powerful white-collar criminals, as well as sometimes preventing criminal legislation entering the statute books, can also influence the design of criminal legislation that does enter the statute books in order to protect themselves and their own business interests. We also use this case study of a process of contemporary law-making to outline the concept of performative regulation: broadly, that which in appearance serves political ends but in practice effects an inconsequential level of control.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:White-collar crime, antiquities, looted, dealing, cultural objects, power, regulation
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Mackenzie, Professor Simon
Authors: Mackenzie, S., and Green, P.
Subjects:K Law > K Law (General)
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Research Group:The Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research
Journal Name:British Journal of Criminology
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:0007-0955
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2008 The Authors
First Published:First published in British Journal of Criminology 48(2):138-153
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.

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