Joe McGrath
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From apathy to activism
Causal factors stimulating change
in Corporate and white-collar crime in Ireland
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Chapter 5 is the point of departure from the traditional system of corporate wrongdoing. It takes a diagnostic rather than a descriptive approach to collate and analyse the causal factors that led to a new way of thinking about corporate 43 misconduct. It will be shown that Europeanization and globalisation created opportunities for business in Ireland and that Ireland’s developing entrepreneurial spirit made it seize these opportunities. These phenomena enhanced business in the State. Others, however, made society more aware that companies could cause it significant harm. Global scandals involving losses of hundreds of millions of Euro made the international community more sceptical of corporate financial statements and more aware of the scale of losses when things go wrong. Domestic scandals made Irish society more aware that its light-touch principled approach facilitated and encouraged wrongdoing. Public tribunals of inquiry revealed the extensive corporate corruption of politics at the highest levels initiating a new regulatory impulse in Ireland. The banking crisis of 2008 acted as a tipping point, politicising corporate crime, and crystallising existing sentiments which demanded more corporate accountability in law. Though each development had a different momentum and dynamic, all had a significant impact in replacing apathy with activism, changing how society thought about corporate activity and how the State regulated it.

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Corporate and white-collar crime in Ireland

A new architecture of regulatory enforcement

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