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Critical Reflections on Transnational Organized Crime, Money Laundering, and Corruption

Critical Reflections on Transnational Organized Crime, Money Laundering, and Corruption

Copyright Date: 2003
Pages: 352
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  • Book Info
    Critical Reflections on Transnational Organized Crime, Money Laundering, and Corruption
    Book Description:

    Contributors offer a wide range of challenges to commonly-held views on transnational crime and approaches to fighting it, suggesting that current international policies follow an American model that exaggerates its threat out of proportion.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7024-2
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. xi-2)
    Margaret E. Beare

    Transnational crime, organized crime, money laundering, and corruption are four concepts with an international and domestic profile of growing magnitude. In the case of all four of these concepts, countries are under pressure to respond in a uniform manner in accordance with numerous international agreements, conventions, and guidelines. In none of these cases does the issue involve a fretting over ʹdefinitionsʹ; rather, more fundamentally, it involves a debate over the nature of the entities that are subsumed under the concepts. Likewise, this book is not about denying the significance of transnational crimes or organized criminal activity. Neither do we underestimate...

  5. 1 Transnational Organized Crime: The Strange Career of an American Concept
    (pp. 3-34)
    Michael Woodiwiss

    Defined literally, ʹorganized crimeʹ is systematic illegal activity for power or profit. As such, organized crime is as old as government and law and as international as trade. Smuggling, piracy, fraud, extortion, and trading in illegal goods and services all have ancient antecedents and modern manifestations. A history of organized crime in a literal sense would have to acknowledge the participation of all levels of society in systematic criminal activity and, in particular, the persistent and active participation of the powerful in society throughout ancient and modern civilizations. Organized crime, understood in a literal sense, is a problem to which...

  6. 2 Predators, Parasites, or Free-Market Pioneers: Reflections on the Nature and Analysis of Profit-Driven Crime
    (pp. 35-54)
    R.T. Naylor

    There is a perception, widely held among police, public, and politicians alike, that the world is being swept by an epidemic of profit-driven crimes.¹ Some are the work of traditional ʹorganized crimeʹ groups; some are the work of emerging ʹorganized crimeʹ groups; and some are the work of previously legitimate business people gone (temporarily?) astray. Some of these crimes are supposedly new; others are old but perpetrated with greater frequency and more lucrative results than previously. At the same time, profit-driven crimes, both new and old, whether committed by career criminals or bent entrepreneurs, supposedly have been rendered easier to...

  7. 3 From National to Global, from Empirical to Legal: The Ambivalent Concept of Transnational Organized Crime
    (pp. 55-87)
    Valsamis Mitsilegas

    The past decade has witnessed the domination of law enforcement, legal, and policy discourses worldwide by the concept of transnational organized crime. Its prioritization has led to the adoption of a multitude of legislative measures, both at national and EU/international levels, with the latest and perhaps most significant measure being the signing of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. The aim of this paper is to assess whether the evolution of these instruments is linked to a clear understanding and acceptable definition of the concept of transnational organized crime, a concept that, while widely discussed, has remained largely...

  8. 4 The Business of Bribery: Globalization, Economic Liberalization, and the ʹProblemʹ of Corruption
    (pp. 88-119)
    James W. Williams and Margaret E. Beare

    While available evidence suggests that corruption is an enduring and relatively constant feature of world political systems,¹ the past decade has been witness to a noticeable shift in the treatment of the phenomenon on both academic and policy fronts. Specifically, corruption has emerged within the context of international policy debates as a serious social problem requiring integrated anti-corruption efforts on a global scale. With this international attention, what has historically been defined as a domestic issue, and thus a cost of doing business with a select group of developing nations, has re-emerged as a global political concern. This qualitative shift...

  9. 5 Against Transnational Organized Crime
    (pp. 120-144)
    James Sheptycki

    My father, a scholar who takes his wisdom where he can find it, likes to relate parables about experts and their expertise. I recall one occasion when, accompanying me as a young man out shopping for a new suit, he confided that ʹClothiers never make mistakes. If one ever sells you an ill-fitting suit, no matter what he says, he knew what he was doing.ʹ How much simpler criminological policy making would be if social scientists were treated like clothiers. The problem is, however, that whereas tailors have both a recognizable product – clothes – and a recognizable expertise for...

  10. 6 Discourse, Identity, and the U.S. ʹWar on Drugsʹ
    (pp. 145-170)
    Kyle Grayson

    Both how and why the United States has felt compelled to view drugs as a security issue are questions of the utmost importance to an understanding of the ʹwar on drugsʹ and its numerous contradictions. In particular, understanding the notions of security that are employed to justify the war on drugs is of extreme importance. Traditional definitions of security usually concern themselves with ʹthe absence of military threat or the protection of the nation from external overthrow and attackʹ (Krasna, 1999: 47). Such definitions, though, seem to fail to provide the necessary imperative for waging a war on drugs. Do...

  11. 7 Global Markets and Crime
    (pp. 171-182)
    Vincenzo Ruggiero

    Variations in the organization of crime are associated with variations in the conditions of social control. This claim, which may sound ʹtruistic,ʹ struggled for decades before gaining acceptance, though reluctantly, in the criminological community. The official wisdom tended to reject the notion that criminal organizations are rationally geared to confronting problems of social control. Traditionally, social control was regarded as a reaction to crime rather than a determinant of its evolution (Mclntosh, 1975). Similarly, the notion that legitimate markets shape the way in which illicit goods are simultaneously marketed found it very hard, and perhaps still does, to gain currency....

  12. 8 Organized Corporate Criminality: Corporate Complicity in Tobacco Smuggling
    (pp. 183-206)
    Margaret E. Beare

    Scenario: The mayor of the small Canadian town of Cornwall, Ontario, goes into ʹhidingʹ;¹ nightly shootings occur across the waterways of the St Lawrence River; smuggling-related killings take place; rumours exist of tobacco company complicity, but fears of a growing organized crime network focus on Aboriginal communities, armed and potentially violent ʹpirates,ʹ Asians, and other profit-seeking racketeers. Another major organized crime market is created. The policing and political response targets the most vulnerable criminals while the media focus on the spread of various types of ethnic-based organized crime. The cigarette companies walk away ... almost. Seven years later the attention...

  13. 9 The War on Drugs and the Military: The Case of Colombia
    (pp. 207-236)
    Juan G. Ronderos

    This chapter examines the international effects of using wartime tactics to deal with criminal activities and the way in which this practice distorts their real origins and consequences by failing to address the social factors that create the perfect settings for crime.¹ In particular, it looks at the problems created by the U.S. ʹwar on drugsʹ policy and the effects of the policy on foreign countries and their legal systems. This focus will require an examination of the historical process by which the drug-trafficking problem was turned into a warfare scenario, taking as an example the relations between the United...

  14. 10 Drug Trafficking and Organized Crime in Canada: A Study of High-Level Drug Networks
    (pp. 237-255)
    Frederick J. Desroches

    High-level drug trafficking is typically viewed as an activity dominated by organized criminal syndicates. There is no consensus among academics or law enforcement organizations, however, on how to define or describe the structure of organized crime. A traditional view depicts it as an underworld monopoly called the Mafia or La Cosa Nostra controlled by a powerful group of Italians through a national syndicate with international connections (Cressey, 1969; Maas, 1967). Many criminologists contend that the popular Mafia image of organized crime is fictional and inaccurate and argue instead that organized criminal syndicates encompass a wide variety of cultural backgrounds, are...

  15. 11 Follow-the-Money Methods in Crime Control Policy
    (pp. 256-290)
    R.T. Naylor

    Over the last fifteen years there has been a quiet revolution in law enforcement. Instead of just closing rackets that generate illegal income, the objective has become to attack criminal profits after they have been earned, on the theory that taking away wealth accumulated by criminals removes both the motive (profit) and the means (operating capital) to commit further crimes. A new crime – money laundering – has been put on the books of many countries. New reporting requirements have been imposed on financial institutions. And law enforcement agencies host special units responsible for arresting, not malefactors, but bank accounts,...

  16. Bibliography
    (pp. 291-326)
  17. Contributors
    (pp. 327-330)
  18. Index
    (pp. 331-354)