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Behavioral dimension of convenience theory

Convenience in White-Collar Crime

Petter Gottschalk

Most theories of white-collar crime can be found along the behavioral dimension. Numerous suggestions have been presented by researchers to explain why famous people have committed financial crime. In this chapter, some of the most prominent theories are presented: differential association theory, theory of self-control and desire-for-control, slippery slope theory, and neutralization theory. Crime is not committed by systems, routines, or organizations. Crime is committed by individuals. White-collar criminals practice a deviant behavior to carry out their offenses. White-collar crime is committed by members of the privileged socioeconomic class who are using their power and influence. Offenders are typically charismatic, have a need for control, have a tendency to bully subordinates, fear losing their status and position, exhibit narcissistic tendencies, lack integrity and social conscience, have no feelings of guilt, and do not perceive themselves as criminals.

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Isabella Neuweg and Alina Averchenkova

Chapter 3 contains an in-depth analysis of climate policy in the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitters – China, the European Union and the USA. The chapter details how they each face their unique challenges and how they have taken different routes in developing and implementing climate policy. China’s approach to climate policy reflects a governance system that is driven more by executive orders than acts of parliament. Accordingly, China has chosen to embed its climate change objectives in successive Five-Year-Plans. In the EU, policy making requires agreement across member states. Member states have decided to make climate policy an EU matter, setting binding EU-wide targets on carbon emissions, renewable energy and energy efficiency, and setting up a pan-European emissions trading scheme. US policy makers have taken a regulatory approach, with federal action based on an existing piece of legislation, the 1990 Clean Air Act. This reflects the contested nature of climate change policy, which has made it difficult to pass meaningful climate change legislation at the federal level. However, many states have moved ahead of the federal level, often enacting world-leading climate legislation.

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Michal Nachmany, Achala Abeysinghe and Subhi Barakat

Chapter 4 describes the unique challenges of least developing countries (LDCs) in climate policy and traces their growing engagement on climate change. The motivations and challenges of LDCs are very different from those of industrialized economies, due both to their low emissions profile and their high vulnerability to climate impacts. As energy-related emissions are low, the transition to a low-carbon economy of LDCs simultaneously serves mitigation, adaptation and development objectives. However, integrating climate change into general development plans remains a challenge, and fewer than half of the LDCs have done so. Other focus areas are disaster risk reduction, climate resilience, land use change and access to international climate finance, although there is less legislative activity in these areas. A growing number of countries are contemplating dedicated climate laws, but climate action is still predominantly pursued through policies and executive instruments, rather than formal acts of parliament.

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Alina Averchenkova and Sini Matikainen

Chapter 10 discusses the interplay between national climate legislation and international efforts to combat climate change. The chapter outlines the key implications of the Paris Agreement for domestic law making and assesses the consistency of domestic mitigation efforts by the G20 group of countries with the Paris objectives. To be consistent with their nationally determined contributions (NDCs) to the Paris Agreement countries will need to adjust not just the level, but also the time frame and scope of their domestic climate targets. The majority of countries have yet to adopt a domestic emission target that is consistent with their NDCs. For Paris to be successful, countries also need to put more emphasis on ensuring the credibility and faithful implementation of their commitments. Success also demands a more systematic assessment of the adequacy of domestic efforts and improved national processes for monitoring, reporting and verification. Monitoring progress should focus not only on whether targets are being met, but also on their consistency with the 1.5–2°C pathway agreed in Paris.

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Ibon Galarraga, Elisa Sainz de Murieta and Joan França

Chapter 8 discusses how national climate legislation is complemented by action at the regional, state and municipal level. The importance of sub-national actors is increasingly recognized in the international negotiations, and the Paris Agreement includes an explicit requirement to integrate climate policies across all levels of government. Responsibility for the implementation of national policies in key areas such as energy, transport and the environment is often devolved to the sub-national level. This gives cities and regions a formal role in national efforts to reduce emissions. Sub-national actors are also central to climate resilience. Adaptation to climate change is very context-specific and requires the close involvement of local stakeholders. The chapter documents how sub-national governments are often taking the lead in climate policy, assuming commitments that can exceed those made at national level. However, the coexistence of regional and national climate policies can create coordination problems and a high degree of collaboration among all levels of governance is essential.

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Conclusion

Convenience in White-Collar Crime

Petter Gottschalk

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Convenience in white-collar crime

Convenience in White-Collar Crime

Petter Gottschalk

Convenience is a concept that was theoretically mainly associated with efficiency in time savings. Today, convenience is associated with a number of other characteristics, such as reduced effort and reduced pain. Convenience is associated with terms such as fast, easy, and safe. Convenience says something about attractiveness and accessibility. A convenient individual is not necessarily bad or lazy. On the contrary, the person can be seen as smart and rational. Convenience orientation is conceptualized as the value that individuals and organizations place on actions with inherent characteristics of saving time and effort. Convenience orientation can be considered a value-like construct that influences behavior and decision-making.

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Corporate social responsibility

Convenience in White-Collar Crime

Petter Gottschalk

This chapter discusses how combatting crime in general, and financial crime and white-collar crime in particular, is an integral part of corporate social responsibility (CSR), especially when crime finds its opportunity structure in the organization. White-collar crime originates and manifests itself in organizations. Organizations must carry responsibility for the negative impacts on society, for example when internal criminals are prosecuted and jailed at the expense of society. To take on CSR means to pay back to society. Payback is the opposite of creating costs to society. CSR is supposed to be a self-regulatory mechanism whereby a business monitors and ensures its active compliance with the spirit of the law, ethical standards, and national and international norms. CSR is a concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns into their business operations and into the interaction with their stakeholders on a voluntary basis.

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Economical dimension of convenience theory

Convenience in White-Collar Crime

Petter Gottschalk

The motive for white-collar crime is simply financial gain. The motive for financial gain, however, can vary. Crime might be a response to both possibilities and threats, and it might be a response to both strengths and weaknesses. An offense can enable exploration and exploitation of a business or a personal possibility that may otherwise seem unobtainable. An offense can enable avoidance of business threats or personal threats. An offense can make the business or the personal situation even stronger, and it can reduce and compensate for business or personal weaknesses. Financial gain as motive for white-collar crime can either benefit the individual or the organization. If illegal financial gain benefits the individual, it is labeled occupational crime. The individual benefits personally from illegal economical gain in a setting where his or her occupation enables white-collar crime. The motive for personal financial gain can vary in terms of possibilities and threats, and strengths and weaknesses.

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Empirical study of white-collar criminals

Convenience in White-Collar Crime

Petter Gottschalk

As evidenced in this chapter, convenience orientation can be identified among convicted white-collar criminals. Their convenience orientation was frequently present in all three dimensions of convenience theory. We suggest that executives with a greater degree of convenience orientation will be more inclined to implement convenient strategies to achieve personal and business goals. If crime is a more convenient option to reach a goal, then executives with a greater degree of convenience orientation will have a stronger tendency to break the law. In this line of reasoning, the extent of white-collar crime can be reduced if executives with strong convenience orientation are identified. Executives and others in the elite who strongly dislike spending time and effort on time-consuming and complicated procedures, might be identified by implementing review procedures and surveillance mechanisms to prevent them from committing crime. Individual convenience orientation can be reduced by an increased subjective likelihood of detection. Simply stated, if you think you will get caught, you do not commit crime.