State-Corporate Crime and Harm

Tombs, Steve (2016). State-Corporate Crime and Harm. In: Corteen, Karen; Morley, Sharon; Taylor, Paul and Turner, Joanne eds. A Companion to Crime, Harm and Victimisation. Companions in Criminology and Criminal Justice. Bristol: Policy Press, pp. 224–225.



The term "state-corporate crime" first appeared in 1990, when Kramer and Michalowski (2006, p 15) defined this phenomenon as signifying "illegal or socially injurious actions that occur when one or more institutions of political governance pursue a goal in direct co-operation with one or more institutions of economic production and distribution". For Michalowski, Kramer and other scholars, state-corporate crime and harm can be initiated and facilitated by states. Thus, corporations engage in illegality at the prompt, or with the approval, of state institutions, while state actors fail to prevent or respond to, or, indeed, collude with, such illegality. More recently, Lasslett (2010, para 4) has usefully expanded upon this concept thus: "Corporate-initiated state crime occurs when corporations directly employ their economic power to coerce states into taking deviant actions". "Corporate-facilitated state crime" occurs"hen corporations either provide the means for state's criminality (e.g. weapons sales), or when they fail to alert the domestic/international community to the state's criminality, because these deviant practices directly/indirectly benefit the corporation concerned" (Lasslett, 2010, para 4). These are important conceptual developments in the study of the crimes of the powerful.

Viewing alternatives

Download history

Item Actions