Symbiosis in the production of crime and harm

Tombs, Steve (2012). Symbiosis in the production of crime and harm. State Crime, 1(2) pp. 170–195.


This article seeks to tease out the various processes by which states and corporations exist in increasingly symbiotic relationships, which in turn are crucial to understanding the systematic, routine production of crimes and harms. Despite the value of the concept of “state-corporate crime”, it tends to obscure these underlying relationships and processes through an abstracted focus on events and collaborations. At worst, this tends towards an empiricism which fails to advance our understanding of the dynamics of state-corporate relationships. This is a particularly timely moment for such considerations, as Governments and supranational capitalist institutions struggle to produce a “response” to the financial crisis, out of which are developing new forms of ongoing relationships between states and the corporate sector – themselves possibly producing new and greater levels of “crime”. The article concludes with suggestions as to how its insights may be operationalized.

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