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Artikel

Gevallen helden van bedrijfsleven en openbaar bestuur

De ‘fall from grace’ van witteboordencriminaliteit

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift over Cultuur & Criminaliteit, Aflevering 2 2018
Trefwoorden white-collar crime, status degradation, sanctioning, executives, punishment
Auteurs Prof. dr. Wim Huisman en Drs. Dennis Lesmeister
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In criminology, it is generally assumed that the high social status of white-collar offenders prevents them of being targeted by criminal law enforcement. But when they do, they suffer greater social and economic damage because of this high social status. Empirical research on the consequences of criminal law enforcement and conviction for white-collar offenders is scarce, and limited to the US and the UK. This paper used biographies of convicted former executives in business and public office in the Netherlands, to analyse these consequences and the process of the ‘fall from grace’ of white-collar offenders. The consequences are described in four life-domains: health, the private sphere, the occupational sphere and the social sphere. The results show that Dutch executives, in line with findings for the Anglo-American white-collar offenders, experience status degradation and suffer much collateral damage of criminal law enforcement. After the initial horror of imprisonment, they endure prison life fairly well. Individual competences and remaining social and economic capital enable them to return to normal life, although they cannot return to pre-conviction levels of social status.


Prof. dr. Wim Huisman
Prof. dr. Wim Huisman is hoogleraar criminologie aan de Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

Drs. Dennis Lesmeister
Drs. Dennis Lesmeister is veroordeeld in de Klimop-zaak en is geassocieerd onderzoeker aan de Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
Artikel

Een wolf onder de wolven. Ethiek en Ethische Commissies in criminologisch onderzoek naar ‘the powerful’

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift over Cultuur & Criminaliteit, Aflevering 3 2018
Trefwoorden Ethics committees, The powerful, Moral entrepreneurs, Ethics creep, Arms trader
Auteurs Dr. Rita Faria en Dr. Yarin Eski
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    For quite some years now, crimes of ‘the powerful’ have been studied by criminologists. While researching crimes of ‘the powerful’, researchers aim to maintain and safeguard their integrity and ethics. However, there seems to be a friction between, on the one hand, ethics of the researchers themselves and on the other hand, ethics (policies) of universities. Obviously, not only do they have to justify their actions and decisions to themselves and ‘science’ as a whole, they must justify their research to ethics committees (EC’s) of universities. It could result in complex and difficult situations when researchers suspect that EC’s themselves may be instruments and products of the powerful groups they are studying. In that case, EC’s might undermine ethics and research integrity themselves. What do certain EC- ‘conditions’ look like for research ethics and to which extent do they have to be adjusted or reconsidered when criminologists are researching ‘the powerful’? The key question that will be answered in this contribution is as follows: how can criminologist (re)act ethically responsibly when confronted with (un)ethical committees? To answer this and other relevant questions, after reviewing literature, we reflect on a biographical study of a legal arms trader. We then elaborate on the ‘ethics creep’ (Haggerty, 2004) that seems to haunt social sciences nowadays.


Dr. Rita Faria
Rita Faria Docent criminologie, University of Porto rfaria@direito.up.pt

Dr. Yarin Eski
Yarin Eski Docent criminologie, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam y.eski@vu.nl
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