Corporate ‘illegalism’, monetized (in) justice and the financialization of economy and society

Russell Hogg

Crime and Justice Research Centre, Faculty of Law, Queensland University of Technology

How does one begin to explain the almost total criminal impunity enjoyed by the finance sector in the face of the gargantuan levels of criminality and harm in the global financial meltdown of 2008-09? The major investment banks in the US and elsewhere have been subject to civil penalties involving huge fines for repeated, seemingly never ending, violations involving fraud and other financial malfeasance, whose effect however is to further institutionalize and normalize financial illegality. Adapting and applying Foucault’s theory of ‘illegalisms’ to our ever more financialized society and monetized system of justice, may afford a certain intelligibility to this apparent paradox.


Russell Hogg teaches criminology and criminal law in the School of Justice, QUT. He is author of Policing the Rural Crisis and Rethinking Law and Order and current research interests include law and order politics, penality, white collar and corporate crime and southern criminology.