Extortion and Blackmail


in Lying, Cheating, and Stealing

Published in print March 2007 | ISBN: 9780199225804
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191708411 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Monographs on Criminal Law and Justice

Extortion and Blackmail

Show Summary Details


From the perspective of criminal practice, blackmail and extortion seem like fairly exotic offenses; prosecution for either is a relatively rare event. Yet no white-collar offense has received more serious and sustained philosophical attention than blackmail (and, indirectly, extortion). What explains this anomaly? The answer is that the very factors that make the so-called ‘blackmail paradox’ such a compelling subject of theoretical analysis — in particular, the uncertain moral basis on which the offense rests — also make blackmail and extortion disfavored in the real world of criminal prosecutions. This chapter does not attempt to resolve the blackmail paradox, but rather shows how it fits into the broader theory of white-collar criminal law that is being developed.

Keywords: white-collar crime; criminal law; extortion; blackmail paradox

Chapter.  11794 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.