Book Review: Globalization & Crime

Date01 December 2021
Published date01 December 2021
Subject MatterBook Reviews
Globalization & Crime, Katja Franko (3rd ed., London: SAGE Publishing, 2019), ISBN 9781526445230, 320 pp.,
Reviewed by: Paul Kenneth Mwirigi Kinyua, Advocate of the High Court of Kenya, Kenya
DOI: 10.1177/20322844211028945
crime, globalisation, crimonology, penal state
Globalisationis understood in this book as a complex set of developments with multiple
modalities.In-depth knowledge of society, politics, urbanisation, trade and migration from
a worldwide perspective is necessary to comprehend the true nature of globalisation in relation to the
category of crimewhich is equally multi-faceted according to this book.
Globalisation is claimed to have unfolded on the world scene in two waves; the rst wave of
globalisation during the early 1990s was marked by widespread consensus among many social
commentators that the state was withering awaydue to the rising power of multinational cor-
porations and international organisations. This was followed by a second wave of globalisation
which is still unfolding and whose key features are the persistence of the state and realisation of the
importance of the state to both national and global economies, as revealed by the massive in-
vestment of public money to save the global nancial system during the 2008 crisis.
The author, Katja Franko of the University of Oslo, is a professor of criminology. However, the
argument in this book does not, as tradition would have it, revolve around the concepts and doctrines
of criminology and their relationship with globalisation. From the outset, a critical understanding is
adopted concerning criminal activity in the world economy and its regulation by states in the context
of declining welfare states in developed countries and imposition of neoliberal economic policies in
the global South over the preceding four decades.
The facts about the unevennessof globalisation and its paradoxessuch as the spawning of
aborderless worldfor inhabitants of a small number of Western nations, hand in hand with
pervasive structural inequalityat the expense of the global South, are not only described in this
book but also explained with great care.
The elaboration of what constitutes a crime is non-technical and critical. The book examines the
crimes of globalisation, said to result from the policies of the World Bank, IMF (International
Monetary Fund) and WTO (World Trade Organisation) and to have brought demonstrably harmful
consequences, disproportionately on large numbers of people living in developing countries.The
wider category of harmas opposed to the more restrictive legal denitions of crimeis outlined
and is preferred because it addresses structural and systemic phenomena that are important in the
study of transgressions against ecosystems, humans, and non-humans.These include broader
issues of environmental degradation, societal values such as the addiction to cheap oil and the
political value placed on the pursuit of economic growth by the developed countries and the
imposition of this valueon the developing countries.
The book highlights the dangers of attempts to tear down the legal order so as to preserve the
social order. It offers a critical review of some emergent policies of crime control such as the
precautionary logicexemplied by the denaturalisationof the foreign ghterswho travel from
their countries of birth in the UK and several Western states to Syria, Iraq, Libya and other troubled
spots to ght alongside rebel groups. It discusses the methods of aggressive policing and the
Book Reviews 627

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