School of Social and Political Sciences - Research Publications

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    Moving towards Ecological Regulation: The Role of Criminalisation
    Haines, F ; Parker, C ; Holley, C ; Shearing, C (Routledge - Taylor & Francis, 2017)
    Contemporary society faces multiple and interacting environmental challenges that require transformational change in the conduct of business. We take one of these challenges, the need to combat anthropogenic climate change, to interrogate what is required in transforming business regulation towards what we term ‘ecological regulation’. This transition requires us to grapple with how business regulation is currently framed and how change will effect such regulation. Regulation is largely premised both on the benefits of economic competition and for the control of particular harms to take place in an discrete case-by-case manner. Current moral and legal strategies used by activists in attempting to engender a dramatic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by business interact with current forms of regulation in distinct ways. The former involves activists staking a moral case for criminalisation of ecological damage through naming and shaming strategies. This may shift the moral boundaries of acceptable business behaviour. The latter is achieved by ‘bracing’ greenhouse gas reduction with existing business regulation that can bring some legal accountability to bear. We show how these strategies begin to reframe regulatory regimes as well as what ecological regulation might look like if full legal authority in enshrining a respect for ecological limits were added the contemporary framing of business regulation.
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    Regulation and risk
    Haines, F ; Drahos, P (ANU Press, 2017)
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    An Ecological Approach to Regulatory Studies?
    Parker, C ; Haines, F (Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, 2018)
    Regulatory studies has been mainly occupied with addressing the social and economic crises of contemporary capitalism through instrumentally and responsively rational approaches. This article asks how regulatory scholarship can better respond to the ecological crisis now facing our world and our governance systems alongside social and economic crises. There are both possibilities and problems with instrumentally rational regulatory approaches that see human ecological impact as an externality or market failure and socio-legal approaches to regulatory studies that emphasize the need to attend to the social and political aspects of regulation using a responsively rational approach. A third big shift towards an ecologically rational approach to regulatory studies is needed to comprehend our embeddedness within ecological systems. An ecologically rational approach also calls for an understanding of how multiple, diverse ways of sustainable being can intersect with and challenge current regulatory regimes dominated by an instrumentally rational approach.
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    Playing by the rules? How community actors use experts and evidence to oppose coal seam gas activity in Australia
    Einfeld, C ; Sullivan, H ; Haines, F ; Bice, S (Elsevier, 2021-09-01)
    Evidence-Based Policy Making advocates for greater attention to evidence, and particularly technical evidence and expertise, in developing policy. This pervasive paradigm presents community actors with a conundrum: how to engage in ways that are consistent with the norms and expectations of policy consultation, whilst also representing the nature and nuance of their lived experience? In this paper we explore one response to this conundrum, in which community actors adopt and adapt technical knowledge claims alongside their lived experience to pursue their case. Using the conflict over Coal Seam Gas development in New South Wales, Australia, we explored community actors’ interpretations and use of evidence and expertise in seeking to make their voices heard and their knowledge count. Analysis of qualitative interviews found community actors seemed compelled to conform with expectations of policy influence, producing and using technical knowledge and evidence, and drawing on scientific expertise and evidence, presenting these in a rational and objective way. This research also finds a complicated relationship between different forms of knowledge, with local knowledge enhancing technical expertise. Emotions, though deeply felt by the community actors in our research, were not seen as convincing to policy decision makers. The Evidence-Based Policy Making paradigm seems to be constraining what community actors feel they must contribute to be seen as legitimate actors, as well as how they contribute it.
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    Will Business and Human Rights regulation help Rajasthan's bonded labourers who mine sandstone?
    Marshall, S ; Taylor, K ; Connor, T ; Haines, F ; Todt, S (SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC, 2021-11-30)
    Some of the worst human rights conditions globally are found in Rajasthan’s sandstone quarries. This paper asks if state-based regulation in the economic-North advanced under the Business and Human Rights agenda: disclosure-based regimes, due diligence compliance regimes and trade-based regimes, could advance efforts to improve respect for human rights in this sector. It adopts fields of struggle lens and global value chain theoretical approaches to business power and governance to understand the challenging political and economic dynamics that entrench harm within sandstone quarrying in Rajasthan. This analysis suggests that company-based disclosure and due diligence regimes will struggle to ameliorate these dynamics whilst trade-based approaches hold some potential to generate meaningful change.
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    Countering Corporate Power Through Social Control: What Does a Social Licence Offer?
    Haines, F ; Bice, S ; Einfeld, C ; Sullivan, H (Oxford University Press (OUP), 2022-01-01)
    This paper interrogates the capacity for social control to act as a complement and alternative to the law in controlling corporate harm. Social control can manifest as demands that businesses obtain a social, not just a legal, licence to operate which can provide an avenue for communities to reject or shape company operations. Drawing on parallels with the ambiguities that hinder the criminalization of business conduct, this paper shows how the social licence can also be used to silence critical voices or justify harmful practices. This ambiguity hinges on struggles around what is or is not socially desirable, which can engender significant conflict. Whilst this conflict might be inevitable, even productive in reducing corporate harm, it can leave a debilitating social legacy.
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    The Social License: Insights from Australia
    Haines, F ; Bice, S ; Sullivan, H ; Einfeld, C (The University of Melbourne, 2020)
    This report summarises a multi-year research project into the concept of a social license to operate and Australia’s coal seam gas (CSG) industry. The project was completed by researchers at the University of Melbourne and the Australian National University and was funded by the Australian Research Council Discovery Program (DP 140102779).
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    You’re a Criminologist? What Can You Offer Us? Interrogating Criminological Expertise in the Context of White Collar Crime
    Haines, F ; Henne, K ; Shah, R (Routledge, 2020)
    Public criminology in relation to white collar crime began with E. H. Sutherland’s coining of the term to draw attention to the criminal nature of corporate activity and the need for greater use of criminal penalties against white collar criminals. Understanding the power of and limitations to criminalization remain central to our expertise. The complexity of this work has made a public criminology of white collar crime more challenging. For some, greater attention should be paid to crime prevention—or regulation—prior to (or instead of) criminalization. Yet, both criminalization and crime prevention demand expertise that extends beyond the traditional criminological canon to ensure that a specific law when enforced can be effective in reducing white collar crime. Without this, acting lawfully is entirely compatible with continuing harm. Indeed, acting lawfully can engender further damage by white collar individuals and corporations. Laws, as recent analyses of white collar crime show, are contradictory. Because of this, greater attention needs to be given to the context within which criminalization is demanded. Knowledge of place is a critical corollary to understanding when either or both criminalization and regulation are an effective strategy or when they deflect attention away from the need for broader structural reforms.
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    Introduction
    Park, C-M ; Uslaner, EM ; Park, CM ; Uslaner, EM (ROUTLEDGE, 2020-01-01)
    BACKGROUND: One important way to transform food systems for human and planetary health would be to reduce the production and consumption of animals for food. The over-production and over-consumption of meat and dairy products is resource-intensive, energy-dense and creates public health and food equity risks, including the creation of superbugs and antimicrobial resistance, contamination and pollution of land and waterways, and injustice to animals and humans who work in the sector. Yet the continuing and expanding use of animals is entrenched in food systems. One policy response frequently suggested by parties from all sectors (industry, government and civil society) is voluntary or mandatory labelling reforms to educate consumers about the healthiness and sustainability of food products, and thus reduce demand. This paper evaluates the pitfalls and potentials of labelling as an incremental regulatory governance stepping-stone to transformative food system change. METHODS: We use empirical data from a study of the regulatory politics of animal welfare and environmental claims on Australian products together with an ecological regulation conceptual approach to critically evaluate the potential of labelling as a regulatory mechanism. RESULTS: We show that labelling is generally ineffective as a pathway to transformative food system change for three reasons: it does not do enough to redistribute power away from dominant actors to those harmed by the food system; it is vulnerable to greenwashing and reductionism; and it leads to market segmentation rather than collective political action. CONCLUSION: We suggest the need for regulatory governance that is ecological by design. Labelling can only be effective when connected to a broader suite of measures to reduce overall production and consumption of meat. We conclude with some recommendations as to how public health advocates and policy entrepreneurs might strategically use and contest labelling and certification schemes to build support for transformative food system change and to avoid the regressive consequences of labelling.
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    Grappling with injustice: Corporate crime, multinational business and interrogation of law in context
    Haines, F ; Macdonald, K (SAGE Publications, 2021)
    This article interrogates criminological ambivalence towards law as both essential in the control of corporate crime and as an enabler of corporate harm. It argues we can make sense of such tensions by seeing law—in its plurality of soft and hard forms—as constituent elements within multiple fields of struggle, in which laws operate as tools wielded to influence contested rules, and as rules governing regulatory struggles. This argument is developed by bringing criminological analyses of the law’s role in business facilitation and regulatory enforcement together with sociological analyses of ‘fields of struggle’. The value of this approach in illuminating law’s ambiguous role in relation to corporate harm is illustrated through two cases of multinational business activity in Indonesia.