From “Infant Hercules” to “Ghost Town”: Industrial Collapse and Social Harm in Teesside

Luke Telford*, Anthony Lloyd

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article explicates the harms associated with deindustrialization in Teesside in the North East of England in the context of neoliberalism. Drawing on in-depth qualitative interviews (n = 25), the article explores how ongoing industrial collapse, typified by Sahaviriya Steel Industries’ (SSI) closure in 2015, has generated various harms. First, the article examines industrialism’s socioeconomic security and stability. It then explores the negative impact of SSI’s closure in 2015, including a sense of loss and unemployment. Next, it demonstrates how the absence of economic stability produces harmful outcomes, namely insecurity, mental health problems and bleak visions of the future. The article concludes by casting industrial ruination as an impediment to human flourishing; the normal functioning of capitalism represents a “negative motivation to harm” that prevents the stability and security necessary for individual and collective flourishing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)595-611
Number of pages17
JournalCritical Criminology
Issue number4
Early online date1 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020

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