Friday, November 8, 2013

CFP: “Shady Business: White Collar Crime in History”

On September 18-20, 2014, the German Historical Institute in Washington, D.C., will host a conference on "Shady Business: White Collar Crime in History." The conveners are Edward Balleisen (History Department /Kenan Institute for Ethics, Duke University), Hartmut Berghoff (German Historical Institute), and Christopher McKenna (Said Business School, University of Oxford). According to the call for papers:
Daniel Defoe observed in the early 18th century that "[e]very degree of business" has "its invitation to do evil." Today, hardly a day passes without the media reporting on new allegations and legal proceedings relating to supposed professional misconduct on the part of corporate executives. . . . This raises many questions. What economic, company-related, and social conditions encourage this behavior? What accounts for the apparent increase of white collar crime in some areas and its decline in others? What background information sheds light on it? What motivates those who engage in such crimes? . . .
    This conference deals with the history of economic crime perpetrated by for-profit and not-for-profit corporations since the early modern period. The conference excludes industrial espionage, piracy, labor disputes, human rights violations, and environmental pollution, which might be included in many definitions of economic crime. This conference instead focuses on corporate fraud, corruption, embezzlement, misappropriation and malfeasance, electronic fraud, tax fraud, intellectual property theft, Ponzi schemes, illegal cartels, and collusion. We are interested both in occupational fraud (malfeasance directed by employees at their employers) and organizational fraud (malfeasance committed by firms against third parties). . . . our goal is to historicize economic criminal actions and public perceptions of them.
Those interested in participating should send a proposal of no more than 500 words and a short CV to Susanne Fabricius. For a fuller discussion of the conference's aims and themes, please see the complete call for papers. The deadline for submission is January 30, 2014. Expenses for travel and accommodation will be covered.