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Critical Criminology

, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 339–364 | Cite as

The “Conventionalization” of Safety Crimes in the Post-Communist New Member States of the European Union

  • Charles Woolfson
Article

Abstract

This article begins by presenting a brief overview of the neglected area of “safety crime” in the post-communist states of Central and Eastern Europe. Quantitative and qualitative evidence is reviewed, suggesting both the widespread nature of safety crimes, and a deteriorating work environment, in which safety crimes are routinely tolerated. Evidence of the “institutionalized tolerance of non-compliance” is provided through a case study of labor inspection in the new member states, focusing on Latvia, currently the worst performer in health and safety in Europe. Against a background of general violations of labor rights, current innovations in European-level regulatory strategies are critiqued, in particular, the shift towards “soft law” and compliance-based strategies, relying on appeals to corporate social responsibility, together with the encouragement of various forms of voluntary initiatives. It is suggested that such (self)-regulatory strategies may be inappropriate as forms of crime control in the new member states of the European Union. In effect, a convergence domestic and European Union policies may open the door to the further “conventionalization” of safety crimes in the new member states.

Keywords

Corporate Social Responsibility Member State Trade Union Industrial Relation European Parliament 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Latvia and University of Glasgow RigaLatvia

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