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  Öffentlicher Vortrag | Public Lecture

Mittwoch, 23. Januar 2019 | 17 Uhr (s.t.)

Illegal Markets: A Theoretical and Historical Interpretation

Mark Roodhouse, University of York



As economic sociologists now recognize, illegal markets are of theoretical as well as economic, social, and political importance. Economic and social historians are well placed to contribute to this burgeoning field. While studying the emergence, proliferation, and decay of illegal markets comes naturally to them, most historians have yet to recognize their significance. In his lecture, Mark Roodhouse shares theoretical insights into these topics drawn from his current project on illegal markets in mid-twentieth-century London and a previous study of black marketeering in 1940s Britain. Case studies from London of commercial gambling, commercial sex, and intoxicants reveal something of the conditions in which illegal markets emerge, spread, and disappear. Together, these examples highlight the critical importance of social norms in understanding the changing legal status of market transactions and, sometimes, entire markets.

Mark Roodhouse is Reader in Modern History at the University of York and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. He is an economic and social historian who is working on his second book about organized crime in twentieth-century London. Oxford University Press published his first book Black Market Britain, 1939−1955 in 2013.

Selected Publications
  • Roodhouse, Mark. 2013. Black Market Britain, 1939-1955. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Roodhouse, Mark. 2006. "Popular Morality and the Black Market in Britain, 1939-1955." In: Frank Trentmann and Just Flemming (eds.), Food and Conflict in the Age of the Two World Wars. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 243-265.
  • Roodhouse, Mark. 2003. "The 'Ghost Squad': Undercover Policing in London, 1945-49." In: Gerard Oram (ed.), Conflict and Legality: Policing Mid-Twentieth Century Europe. London: Francis Boutle, 171-191.

Suggested Reading
  • Beckert, Jens, and Matías Dewey. 2017. The Architecture of Illegal Markets: Towards an Economic Sociology of Illegality in the Economy. Oxford: Oxford University Press [esp. chapters 1-2].
  • Haller, Mark. 2013. "Illegal Enterprise: A Theoretical and Historical Interpretation." In: Matthew G. Yeager (ed.), Illegal Enterprise: The Work of Historian Mark Haller. Lanham: University Press of America, 219-253 [example of how history and sociology can inform study of illegal markets].
  • Jenkins, Philip, and Gary W. Potter. 1998. "Before the Krays: Organized Crime in London, 1920-1960." Criminal Justice History 9. [UK historical background to talk for those unfamiliar with UK OC and illegal markets]
  • Shore, Heather. 2016. "A Brief History of the Underworld and Organized Crime." In: Paul Knepper and Anja Johansen (eds), The Oxford Handbook of the History of Crime and Criminal Justice. Oxford: Oxford University Press [as above but a global historical survey since 1750].

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