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Environmental activism and resistance to state-corporate crime


White, R, Environmental activism and resistance to state-corporate crime, State Crime and Resistance, Routledge, E Stanley and J McCulloch (ed), Abingdon, pp. 128-140. ISBN 978-0-203-10106-3 (2012) [Research Book Chapter]

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Copyright 2012 The Authors

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This chapter explores the tactics and strategies employed by environmental activists to resist and respond to instances of state-corporate activity associated with environmental harm. There is frequently a close nexus between the state and corporations when it comes to environmentally harmful practices, and elements of denial and facilitation on the part of the state are vital to the pursuance of such activities. Resistance to such harms takes a number of forms, ranging from civil disobedience to appeals for international support and condemnation via the media. Conversely, state responses to environmental activism may include litigation, criminalization, control over information and the use of counter-terrorism powers.

The chapter considers the tactical and strategic dance between activists and dominant social interests, the ways in which environmental activists attempt to subvert formal state power and official representations of legitimacy and legality, and the bounce-back from this on the part of the powerful. From cooperation and compromise to confrontation and conflict, there are many avenues for activist intervention and varying responses on the part of powerful economic and political bodies to environmental activist agendas.

The intellectual and practical context for this chapter is the dearth of adequate controls and regulatory actions within official criminal justice and state offices on matters pertaining to environmental harm. To put it simply, not enough is being done to prevent, prosecute and respond to environmental crime (see White 2010, 201 la). Accordingly, it is very often transnational environmental activists who have stepped into the breach, exposing instances of ecological and species harm, providing details of poor regulation and enforcement practices, and contributing both formally and informally to crime reduction and prosecution processes. As increasingly important players in the world of environmental protection, conservation and management, environmental activists frequently have to both confront powerful social, economic and political interests, and work with and alongside powerful groups, organizations and state apparatus. This chapter describes some aspects of this complicated but essential work.

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Criminology
Research Field:Criminology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Justice and the law
Objective Field:Justice and the law not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:White, R (Professor Rob White)
ID Code:83531
Year Published:2012
Deposited By:Sociology and Social Work
Deposited On:2013-03-16
Last Modified:2017-12-14
Downloads:4 View Download Statistics

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