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Ray Hudson

There has been a neglect of the centrality of illegality in capitalist economies. This is a significant omission as illegality can be the route to greater profitability and can have a decisive influence on the sectoral and spatial constitution of those economies. What may be legal in some times and places may be illegal in others, leading to competitive pressures to transgress the boundaries of illegality there. Thus, illegality is not a marginal feature of capitalism but rather is integral to the performance of capitalist economies and their geographies. However, while endemic, illegality is more prevalent in some places than others and as such forms a constitutive moment in the processes of uneven and combined development of capitalism. While capitalist states construct regulatory frameworks that draw a distinction between the legal and illegal, for a variety of reasons they may choose to disregard the presence of illegality.