Transnational Organised Crime: Perspectives on Global Security

By Adam Edwards; Peter Gill | Go to book overview

policing, but above all one that aims to protect people of all faiths and nationalities, in every region, as well as the global commons generally. This will require a massive effort to create a new form of global political legitimacy, one which does not credit the self-interested, partial, selective and insensitive practices of institutions that have long since parted company with the general interests of global civil society. Above all, the project of global governance will require an acknowledgement that the ethical and justice issues posed by the global polarisation of wealth and power need to be resolved. Those who are poor and vulnerable because they are locked into geo-political situations which have neglected their economic, social and political claims for generations will always provide fertile grounds for the recruitment of criminals and terrorists. In order that transnational policing does not become a mere protection racket, the project of global governance must open up to include the principles of social justice, which must also include an awareness of new welfare and environmental rules and conditions. Echoing Robert Reiner (2000: xi), and updating him for the transnational age, it is possible to say that, to the extent that the underlying global culture and political economy provides meaningful and rewarding lives, social conflict and crime are diminished. Only then can police agents, transnational and otherwise, realise their highest ideals and appear as 'knights errant'. At the heart of the project of global governance, including perhaps especially the governance of crime, must lie a concern with justice and legitimacy predicated on the values of multi-culturalism, human rights, the rule of law and respect for the environment. Everyone, in every country has a role to play in policing the transnational world order. It cannot be left to the experts alone. A new global project aimed at justice and peace has to displace the practices of the protection racketeers who promise security, but merely compound collective insecurity in order that they may better profit from it.

This convention is essentially an instrument of international co-operation. Its purpose is to promote inter-state co-operation in order to combat TOC. Five offences, whether committed by individuals or corporate entities, are covered: participation in an organised crime group; corruption; money laundering; obstruction of justice; and 'serious crime'. There are two essential prerequisites for application: the relevant offence must have a transnational aspect and the offence must be committed by an organised criminal group. These terms are defined very broadly; 'serious crime' in particular is defined in such a way as to include all significant criminal offences 'punishable by a maximum deprivation of liberty of at least four years or a more serious penalty'. The United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organised Crime, opened for signature 12 December 2000, UN GAOR, 55th Sess. Annex 1 Agenda Item 105, at 25 UN Doc. A55/383 (2000). A vast range of activity is encompassed by this legal frame, far beyond the capacities of all the national and transnational police-type agencies combined. It is therefore inevitable that some sort of selection in law enforcement will take place, whether by random probability, ideological bias, or a mixture of the two.


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Transnational Organised Crime: Perspectives on Global Security
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Figures x
  • Tables xi
  • Acknowledgements xiv
  • Introduction 1
  • References 6
  • Part I - Origins of the Concept 7
  • References 11
  • 1 - Transnational Organised Crime 13
  • 2 - Europe's Response to Transnational Organised Crime 28
  • Notes 39
  • References 40
  • 3 - Global Law Enforcement as a Protection Racket 42
  • Note 55
  • References 56
  • Part II - Measurements and Interpretations 59
  • References 64
  • 4 - Measuring Transnational Organised Crime 65
  • Note 77
  • 5 - Classify, Report and Measure 78
  • References 95
  • 6 - The Network Paradigm Applied to Criminal Organisations 97
  • References 113
  • 7 - Transnational Organised Crime 114
  • Notes 125
  • Part III - Case Studies 127
  • 8 - Bad Boys in the Baltics 131
  • Notes 141
  • 9 - Controlling Drug Trafficking in Central Europe 143
  • Note 154
  • 10 - Recognising Organised Crime's Victims 157
  • Notes 171
  • Part IV - Current and Prospective Responses 175
  • References 181
  • 11 - The Legal Regulation of Transnational Organised Crime 183
  • References 193
  • 12 - Countering the Chameleon Threat of Dirty Money 195
  • Notes 209
  • 13 - Criminal Asset-Stripping 212
  • 14 - Proteiform Criminalities 227
  • Notes 239
  • References 240
  • 15 - Organised Crime and the Conjunction of Criminal Opportunity Framework 241
  • References 262
  • 16 - After Transnational Organised Crime? 264
  • Note 279
  • Index 282


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