Corporate perpetrators, ‘victimless’ crimes, and citizen resistance in Southeast Asia: exploring interlinked forms of violence and local responses to social and environmental destruction



Part 1

Session 1
Tue 09:30-11:00 REC A2.13

Part 2

Session 2
Tue 11:30-13:00 REC A2.13


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‘No soul to damn, no body to kick’, lawyer John C. Coffee wrote in 1981 about corporate punishment (Michigan Law Review 386). Forty years later, the prosecution of green criminality is still a difficult task, despite mounting public denunciation of monoculture plantations and fossil fuels. Indeed, if there is a figure of perpetration that remains elusive, it is the corporate perpetrator, transnational protean entity par excellence. Southeast Asia, a region already marked by the effect on societies, ecologies, and landscapes of imperial extraction and mass violence, is increasingly confronted with the impact of extractivism, fast-paced and often unregulated development and urbanization, and capitalistic accumulations. We propose to explore the connections between current systems and cultures of exploitation on the one hand, and the legacy of colonialism and warfare on the other. We first seek to clarify the linkages between corporate perpetrator, war crime perpetrator, and colonial perpetrator in order to better understand the entanglements of the military-industrial complex, corporations, governments, and local decision-makers. The recent developments with legal rights being given to inanimate entities such as rivers and forests point to a reconfiguration of victimhood and agency and to new and unexpected interactions between humans and nonhumans expressed in a range of ritual activities, economic relations, technologies, etc. Therefore, along this line, we also aim to unpack emergent re-imaginings of resistance and citizenship in the region.