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IR 3001 Week 7 lectures Trans-national Actors II: Organised Crime.

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Presentation on theme: "IR 3001 Week 7 lectures Trans-national Actors II: Organised Crime."— Presentation transcript:

1 IR 3001 Week 7 lectures Trans-national Actors II: Organised Crime

2 How do we define trans-national organised crime? Maltz (1971): An organised crime is a crime in which there is more than one offender, and the offenders are and intend to remain associated with one another for the purpose of committing crimes. Maltz (1971): An organised crime is a crime in which there is more than one offender, and the offenders are and intend to remain associated with one another for the purpose of committing crimes. Keohane and Nye, political activity can be described as trans-national when 'tangible or intangible items move across state boundaries' and 'when at least one actor is not an agent of a government or an intergovernmental organisation'. Keohane and Nye, political activity can be described as trans-national when 'tangible or intangible items move across state boundaries' and 'when at least one actor is not an agent of a government or an intergovernmental organisation'. Globalisation trends apply to legal as well as illegal trade activities: Globalisation trends apply to legal as well as illegal trade activities: –the same economic structure allows for corporate expansion and trans-national organised crime gangs.

3 (Ambiguous) Typology Types of criminal activities –Labour racketeering/extortion –people trafficking –Drug trafficking –goods trafficking/conflict goods –Price-fixing –Illegal gambling –Prostitution –Extortion rings –Private terrorism Types of Organisations Types of Organisations –Sicilian Mafia, Russian Mafia, Chinese Triads… –Drug Cartels –Conflict Goods Networks –Mercenaries/private security firms (?) E.g. Executive outcomes –Illegal migration networks Linked to people trafficking These may overlap! These may overlap!

4 Trans-national Mafias Export of illegal activities through immigrant links (e.g. Sicilian mafia in the US) Export of illegal activities through immigrant links (e.g. Sicilian mafia in the US) Activities expanding to cross-border illegal trade, use of open frontiers Activities expanding to cross-border illegal trade, use of open frontiers Case Study: Russian Organised Crime Case Study: Russian Organised Crime Rampant growth since 1991 – economic liberalism has created a new class of entrepreneurs Rampant growth since 1991 – economic liberalism has created a new class of entrepreneurs –racketeering, –corruption, –intimidation of businesses and public officials, –money laundering and extra-judicial killings/assassinations. Seen throughout Central and Eastern Europe as well as US (Brighton Beach) Seen throughout Central and Eastern Europe as well as US (Brighton Beach) Involved in prostitution and people trafficking rings in Western Europe (along with Eastern European gangs) Involved in prostitution and people trafficking rings in Western Europe (along with Eastern European gangs)

5 Illegal Drug Trafficking Drugs and Latin America: major producer Drugs and Latin America: major producer –Cocaine (Bolivia, Columbia, Peru) –Heroin (Mexico) –Marijuana (Mexico, Jamaica) Key economic sector – but shadow economy Key economic sector – but shadow economy Trans-border networks are key to operations (focus is US market) Trans-border networks are key to operations (focus is US market) American War on Drugs – this type of OC has been defined as a security threat with security responses American War on Drugs – this type of OC has been defined as a security threat with security responses –Invasion of Panama –Plan Columbia –Shiprider Agreement

6 Crime and Migration Migrating populations are vulnerable and often hard to account for Migrating populations are vulnerable and often hard to account for –Most migration is illegal –Most migration is based on dire economic needs (Economic refugees) from the Global South –Most migrant have families depending on them back home: cannot afford to fail –Most migrants cannot speak the local language or know the law Criminal gangs are often the only way in given increasingly tough immigration control Criminal gangs are often the only way in given increasingly tough immigration control –Gangs are often recent immigrants themselves using their contacts on both sides Cost is prohibitive and often paid through slave labour debt - migrants have no legal recourse Cost is prohibitive and often paid through slave labour debt - migrants have no legal recourse Using the same network as goods being trafficked (stolen goods, drugs…). What is the line between goods and people trafficking? Using the same network as goods being trafficked (stolen goods, drugs…). What is the line between goods and people trafficking?

7 Womens Trafficking prostitution or sexual slavery? Trafficked women are abducted or duped, broken in by the gang, and then prostituted to pay an immigration debt or through threats to them and family prostitution or sexual slavery? Trafficked women are abducted or duped, broken in by the gang, and then prostituted to pay an immigration debt or through threats to them and family –E.g. Sub-saharan African women in Italy, women from the Balkans in the UK… –Different from prostitution: no consent, no money…high risks of battery, STIs and long term mental health problems Estimate 700,000 women and children a year: core human security concern? Estimate 700,000 women and children a year: core human security concern? Why would women take such risks to emigrate illegally? – linked to gross economic inequalities Why would women take such risks to emigrate illegally? – linked to gross economic inequalities Fuels shadow economies linked to other illegal activities Fuels shadow economies linked to other illegal activities Shows failure of immigration regimes (and prostitution laws) Shows failure of immigration regimes (and prostitution laws) Childrens trafficking (male and female) for peadophile prostitution rings Childrens trafficking (male and female) for peadophile prostitution rings

8 Crime and War Economies Wars create law and order vacuum which criminals fill: Wars create law and order vacuum which criminals fill: –Sometimes black market economy is the only way to get basic goods during wars… –But goods traffickers have a vested interest in the conflict not ending – they may become actors in the conflict! Other side of the coin: Other side of the coin: –Parties in civil wars fund their activities through criminal activities – export and import… Trans-border involvement to destabilise neighbours and exploit their resources illegally (conflict diamonds in Sierra Leone) Trans-border involvement to destabilise neighbours and exploit their resources illegally (conflict diamonds in Sierra Leone)

9 Estimated Revenue from Conflict Resources, Selected Cases CombatantResourcePeriodEstimated Revenue UNITA (Angola)Diamonds $4-4.2 billion RUF (Sierra Leone) Diamonds1990s$ million/yr Taylor (Liberia)TimberLate 1990s$ million/yr Sudan gvtOilSince 1999$400 million/yr Rwanda government Coltan (from DRC) $250 million Taliban (Afghanistan) Opium, heroinMid-1990s-2001$30-40 million/yr Northern Alliance (Afghanistan) Lapis lazuli, emeralds, opium Mid 1990s-2001$ 60 mill/yr Khmer Rouge (Cambodia) TimberMid-1990s$ million/yr Cambodia gvtTimberMid-1990s$ million/yr Burma gvtTimber1990s$112 million year FARC (Colombia)CocaineLate 1990s$140 million/yr Source: Michael Renner, The Anatomy of Resource Wars, Worldwatch Paper 162, October 2002, p. 7, Table 1.

10 OC and security studies How high on the agenda should this trans-national threat be (I.e. who does it threaten, and do we care?) How high on the agenda should this trans-national threat be (I.e. who does it threaten, and do we care?) –How can this be tackled by states and International Organisations? Link to extreme wealth inequalities: the victims are the most vulnerable Link to extreme wealth inequalities: the victims are the most vulnerable –Russian Mafia used liberalisation to endanger industries, jobs… and Russias ability to govern itself (risk of illegal nuclear arms deals?) –Poor states like Sierra Leone have their only mineral wealth plundered and their population mutilated –Cannot secure post-conflict reconstruction after civil wars when criminals control the economy and security –Cheap goods, drugs and sex are in demand… Issues of responsibility in host state

11 Conclusion OC impacts on security both directly and indirectly OC impacts on security both directly and indirectly Is it linked to other trans-national forces such as terrorist groups? Is it linked to other trans-national forces such as terrorist groups? –Overlap (e.g. GIA) in some cases, cooperation on WMDs the worst fear –Ultimately contradicting forces? Organised crime does not work in anarchy, it relies on state structures, stability. Can we treat OC and terrorism as a separate threat to wider questions of nuclear proliferation? Can we treat OC and terrorism as a separate threat to wider questions of nuclear proliferation? Can a system dominated by states and economic inequalities reach the criminals, can it help the victims? Can a system dominated by states and economic inequalities reach the criminals, can it help the victims?


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