Deakin University

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Dirty collar crime and the environment

conference contribution
posted on 2012-04-01, 00:00 authored by Reece WaltersReece Walters
In 2010, Vincent Ruggiero and Nigel South coined the term ‘dirty collar crime’ to define corporate entrepreneurs that monopolise waste disposal companies and profit from illegal environmental activities. This paper explores the ways in which ‘the environment’ has become big business for organised criminal enterprises. It draws on original fieldwork conducted in Italy and examines the exploits of the ‘eco mafia’. It concludes that the fluidity associated with term ‘environment’ and its cavalier usage in political and public discourse creates ambivalence for regulation and protection. Whilst trade continues to assert an international priority within the landscapes of global economics and fiscal prosperity; organized environmental crime takes advantage of growing markets. As a result, movements of environmental activism emerge as the new front in the surveillance, regulation and prosecution of organised environmental crime. Such voices must continue to be central to future green criminological perspectives that seek environmental, ecological and species justice.



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Queensland University of Technology


keywords: eco-justice, environmental crime, dirty collar crime, Transnational Organized Environmental Crime, Illegal waste disposal

Publication classification

EN.1 Other conference paper

Title of proceedings

Crime, Justice and Social Democracy : An International Conference

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