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Bethlehem Steel at Lackawanna: The State-Corporate Crimes that Continue to Victimize the Residents and Environment of Western New York

NCJ Number
Journal of Crime and Justice Volume: 36 Issue: 2 Dated: July 2013 Pages: 263-282
Kimberly L. Barrett
Date Published
July 2013
20 pages
This article reviews the literature on state-corporate crime and crimes of the Bethlehem Steel plant's operations.
Findings from state-corporate crime studies evince the severity of crimes perpetrated via collusion between private industry and government. One area in which this collaboration is evident is in the development of atomic weapons. This paper presents a case study of prior complicity between Bethlehem Steel and the Atomic Energy Commission in Lackawanna, NY. Government reports, worker memoirs, and news media articles are analyzed to illustrate the repercussions of this state-corporate collusion on former employees and surrounding communities. Qualitative analysis supports two points: (1) political-economic factors drove a number of state-corporate crimes victimizing the western New York community and its residents, and (2) political economy acted as a source of motivation and opportunity, and produced weak social control in the development of nuclear arms at Bethlehem Steel's Lackawanna plant. These results underscore the importance of studying the role of political economy in state-corporate offending. Abstract published by arrangement with Taylor and Francis.