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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

Met biografieën een beter begrip van witteboordencriminaliteit?

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift over Cultuur & Criminaliteit, Aflevering 3 2012
Trefwoorden white-collar crime, corporate crime, biographies, case studies
Auteurs Wim Huisman
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The central question of this article is whether biographies can be a source for criminological research on white-collar crime and how they can contribute to the explanation of white-collar crime. To answer this question, 35 Dutch biographies were studied. Following the legal ambiguities of white-collar crime, not all of these biographies are about criminal offences. And following the dominant anthropomorphic approach to corporate crime, some of these are corporate biographies. Many biographies confirm current criminological explanations of the causation of white-collar crime. Yet, biographies also offer additional insights, for instance about the causal relevance of the private life of white-collar offenders.


Wim Huisman
Prof. dr. Wim Huisman is hoogleraar bij de sectie criminologie van de Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. E-mail: w.huisman@vu.nl.
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