From Corporate Killing to Social Murder: 1 March 2018

Birkbeck Criminology Seminar Series: From Corporate Killing to Social Murder

18:00-19:30, Thursday 1 March 2018

Speaker: Professor Steve Tombs (Department of Social Policy & Criminology, Open University)

Corporations kill in a variety of ways across diverse sites and spheres of activity. Such killing is ubiquitous, routine and widespread – notwithstanding formal attempts by states to prevent and respond to such deaths. Focusing on a sub-set of such deaths in the UK, and state attempts to regulate these, this paper argues that these should be understood as state-corporate violence, best captured by the term ‘social murder’.

Grenfell Tower has come to represent many things to many people since the tragic fire on 14th June. Prior to that date, the Tower was a home to hundreds of residents – if not, according to some of them, a particularly pleasant one. The aim of this presentation is two-fold: first, to understand the reach of states and corporations into what is often represented as a private sphere, namely the home; and, second, to better understand the mass killing at Grenfell Tower, and the ripples of harms subsequently engendered, as phenomena produced by state-corporate policy and practices.

To register for this event, please see here.

About the Criminology Seminar Series

In line with the School of Law, Birkbeck’s research and teaching ethos, the Criminology Seminar Series aims to provide a platform for critical and interdisciplinary research, showcasing prominent and path-breaking research on crime, criminal justice and related themes by scholars from within and beyond Birkbeck. The series is convened by Dr Sappho Xenakis, School of Law, Birkbeck.

Picture credit: Image is by Fernando Botero: Abu Ghraib #67 (2005). University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive Gift of the Artist, 2009.12.42 Photographed for the UC Berkeley Art Museum by Benjamin Blackwell.

Workshop on International Economic Law: 6 October 2017

The School of Law, Birkbeck are pleased to hold a workshop to exchange perspectives on the interaction of critical legal theory and political economy in relation to international economic law.

The workshop is aimed at academic colleagues, especially those with expertise in international economic law; Birkbeck PhD students (especially in Law and Politics); and students enrolled on our LLM in International Economic Law, Justice and Development.

We hope the workshop will promote our research and teaching in international economic law, foster internal and external collaborations; and stimulate the development of a distinct research group or research cluster around political economy.

This event takes place on Friday 6 October 2017, commencing at 10am, in Birkbeck’s Keynes Library.

The event is free and lunch and refreshments are provided. Registration is required.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/international-economic-law-between-critical-legal-theory-and-political-economy-registration-37918213397

Report on Centre for Political Economy and Institutional Studies launch

From left to right: – Dr Luca Adriani, Dr Dermot Hodson, Prof. Ron Smith and Dr Sappho Xenakis

The need for rigorous interdisciplinary research on institutions emerged as the overarching theme of a half-day workshop on 15 June to launch Birkbeck’s new Centre for Political Economy and Institutional Studies. After a welcome from Prof. Sarah Hart (Assistant Dean, Department of Economics, Mathematics and Statistics) and Prof. Philip Powell (Dean of Business, Economics and Informatics and Vice-Master), Enterprise & Innovation, three distinguished guest speakers from the fields of economics, politics and criminology talked about the importance of institutions and political economy for their research.

Prof. Stephen Farrell (University of Sheffield) presented preliminary results from an ESRC funded project The Long-Term Impacts of Thatcherism. His evidence showed the scope and limits of historical institutionalism in explaining the Thatcher and Major governments’ shift towards more punitive approaches to crime.

Dr Waltraud Schelkle (London School of Economics) presented some of the key findings of her new book, The Political Economy of European Monetary Solidarity. The interplay between domestic and EU institutions rather than economic ideas, she argued, explains why the EU embraced regressive austerity policies in response to the global financial crisis.

Prof. Geoffrey Hodgson (University of Hertfordshire) argued for the importance of institutions in understanding international economic performance. Drawing on a range of examples from the economics literature, he discussed, the institutional drivers of China’s remarkable growth rates since the 1970s and the divergent growth trajectories of economies in Asia.

The audience brought together students and faculty from three Birkbeck schools with academics from other London universities and political economy practitioners.

To conclude the event, the co-directors of the Centre for Political Economy and Institutional Studies – Dr Luca Adriani (Department of Management), Dr Dermot Hodson (Department of Politics) Prof. Ron Smith (Department of Economics, Mathematics and Statistics), Dr Sappho Xenakis (Department of Criminology) – led a roundtable discussion about the origins and aims of the Centre and future activities and events.

This discussion covered the importance of political economy for Birkbeck’s 200th anniversary and the scope for cross-disciplinary teaching on political economy and institutions. The importance of the Centre for Birkbeck’s research environment was discussed along with the demand from government and private sector economists for a deeper understanding of institutions.

The event was sponsored by Birkbeck’s School of Business, Economics and Informatics and the School of Law.