Transnational Crime, Local Denial

Mackenzie, S. (2007), ‘Transnational Crime, Local Denial’, Social Justice, 34 (2), 111-24.

If the recent history of the antiquities market is one of a moral and legal fieldshift, some intriguing and important empirical questions arise. Is there, as might be hoped, a straightforward translation of field-shift into (better) market action? Once the structural work is done, morally and legally, what response follows from the market? The arrogance of law and the conceit of morality both suggest that once matters are in their hands, social problems will be solved. The regulatory discourse of illicit markets—and in this respect the antiquities debate is no exception—is awash with sentiment emanating from these two poles of apparent pragmatism, suggesting the need for more and better laws, and for programs of education that will heighten sensitivity among consumers, thus reducing demand (O’Keefe, 1997; Polk, 2002).