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The Emergence of a "War" on Economic Crime: The Case of Finland


  • Alvesalo Anne

    (Police College of Finland)

  • Tombs Steve

    (Center for Criminal Justice, Liverpool John Moores University)


In 1996, the Finnish government initiated an Action Plan aimed at the more effective control of economic crime and the grey economy, involving wide-scale reform in legislation, regulatory agencies, enforcement practice, and research activities. The emergence of this Action Plan forms the empirical focus of this article, which addresses two specific research questions. First, what were the economic, social and political factors that produced this Action Plan? Second, how can this initiative contribute to a critical assessment of the claims of "globalization discourses," which seem to render such an idiosyncratic nation-state development as unlikely? The article critically examines some of the elements of globalization discourses with particular respect to the implications for the nature of contemporary states and the possibilities for the more effective regulation of corporate activity. It then outlines the processes and events that allowed the Finnish Action Plan to emerge. Finally, it asks what lessons are to be learnt from the Finnish case, before identifying some further lines of enquiry to be pursued. This Finnish initiative seems to represent one important instance of the extent to which states can develop relatively autonomous economic and social policy, even where this appears to be detrimental to the interests of "capital."

Suggested Citation

  • Alvesalo Anne & Tombs Steve, 2001. "The Emergence of a "War" on Economic Crime: The Case of Finland," Business and Politics, De Gruyter, vol. 3(3), pages 1-30, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:buspol:v:3:y:2001:i:3:n:2

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