Edited by Tim Hall and Vincenzo Scalia
Chapter 6: Environmental crimes: controversies and perspectives
Dealing with environmental crimes means facing some intricate and controversial issues: the problem of definition, the multiple dimensions causing environmental harm and the complex estimate of its extent. In his classic contribution to criminology, Sutherland (1949) suggested expanding the study of criminology beyond the legal definition of crime in order to include any action or omission that produces social harm. His call was heeded by a generation of scholars with different theoretical and methodological backgrounds. In this chapter we analyse the most important theoretical approaches which draw upon Sutherland's insight, in particular we will focus on how environmental harm is conceptualized within different theoretical and empirical perspectives. Furthermore, we will pay particular attention to the construction of environmental victimization as a social process involving structural and micro dimensions to define whom, or indeed what, is an environmental victim and the different victims’ responses.
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