Through a green criminological perspective, Angus Nurse examines the contemporary reality of corporate environmental crime and illegal activities that have become normalized within many major corporations. Arguably this is an inevitable consequence of a corporate culture that prioritizes profits and the smooth operation of market activities over environmental concerns coupled with the increased political power of major corporations that can act almost with impunity and where problems do occur, can literally buy itself out of trouble. These same corporations are broadly perceived as being responsible actors. However, Nurse argues that corporate environmental offending is often deliberate and that corporations understand that they will often be allowed to continue with polluting and non-compliant behavior because the likely enforcement responses are fines and settlements rather than criminal prosecution. Using several case studies, Nurse explores biopiracy and the rights of indigenous peoples, the behavior of oil companies in African states, the regulation of corporate social responsibility and corporate environmental responsibility, an analysis of contemporary environmental legislation and the prosecution of environmental harm, and state-corporate crime and air pollution. Dealing with these problems requires a wider notion of crime and wrongdoing that directly engages with the types of environmental offending that represent a threat to human populations and non-human nature irrespective of whether these are defined as crime by justice systems.
About the Author
Angus Nurse is head of Criminology and Criminal Justice Department at Nottingham Trent University.