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The purpose of this panel is to develop a better understanding of the crimes of the powerful from an anthropological perspective, including tax evasion, money laundering, corruption, corporate, state and institutional crimes, human rights violations, and environmental harm, among others.
Throughout history, powerful actors have committed crimes for centuries. However, criminologists and anthropologists have only lately focused on the powerful rather than the powerless. Scholars such as Edwin Sutherland have paved the way for understanding crimes as acts carried out by people in all sorts of societal positions. Current global conditions - including the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic - demand that we encourage ethnographic research on crimes of the powerful and place the topic at the centre of anthropological inquiry. With the growth of the information age and the unequal geopolitical relationships and neoliberal realities that have accompanied it, crimes committed by powerful actors have also changed and in some instances have become more visible. These criminal activities emanate from and feed into disparate power relations, and as such are tied to the broader political, legal, cultural and social contexts in which they occur. To understand perpetuations, we need critical research which reveals and analyses such ties. For example, how did the crimes of the powerful evolve and transform over time? What are the current dynamics of criminal/illegal/harmful activities undertaken by powerful private and public actors? And how can ethnographic approaches contribute to research on crimes committed by the powerful? To address these questions at the core of the proposed panel, we invite scholars to submit papers that explore a wide range of topics, including tax evasion, money laundering, corruption, corporate, state and institutional crimes, human rights violations, and environmental harm, among others.
Accepted papers:Session 1 Tuesday 26 July, 2022, -
Jennifer Speirs (University of Edinburgh)
Sagar Ved Singh (Central University of Rajasthan)
Erella Grassiani (University of Amsterdam)