The Pathology of Cartels: Addressing Issues of Agency and Responsibility

Christopher Harding and Julian Joshua

in Regulating Cartels in Europe

Second edition

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780199551484
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191594977 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in European Law

The Pathology of Cartels: Addressing Issues of Agency and Responsibility

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This chapter takes a criminological approach to the phenomenon of business cartels, by posing questions about the nature of cartel delinquency, probing the perceived elements of wrongdoing and damage inherent in cartel activity. It examines the underlying complication of agency, that cartels involve both corporate and individual human actors, raising questions concerning the allocation of legal responsibility and the imposition of sanctions. Who are the responsible delinquent actors? Other major questions are posed in the discussion — how to understand the motivation of cartelists and what appears to be a significant level of determined recidivism, how to explain the strong censure of cartel activity as highly delinquent conduct, and the need to clarify and order the objectives of legal control. It is argued that an effective system of legal control depends upon a fuller understanding of these issues.

Keywords: legal responsibility; delinquency; agency; corporate actor; human actor; recidivism; motivation; censure

Chapter.  12594 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: EU Law

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