The Best Way to Rob a Bank

Author/s (editor/s):

John Braithwaite
Aleksandar Marsavelski

Publication year:


Publication type:

Journal article

Cohen and Machalek’s (1988) evolutionary ecological theory of crime explains why obscure forms of predation can be the most lucrative. Sutherland explained that it is better to rob a bank at the point of a pen than of a gun. The US Savings and Loans scandal of the 1980s suggested ‘the best way to rob a bank is to own one’. Lure constituted by the anomie of warfare and transition to capitalism in former Yugoslavia revealed that the best way to rob a bank is to control the regulatory system: that is, to control a central bank. This makes possible theft of all the people’s money in a society. The criminological imagination must attune to anomie created by capitalism, and to the evolutionary ecology of lure.

Cite the publication as

Aleksandar Marsavelski and John Braithwaite. (2018). ‘The Best Way to Rob a Bank.’ International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy. 7(1): 123‐138

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