Global Organized Crime (PowerPoint)

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					“War Making and State Making as
  Organized Crime” (Tilly, 1985)
“If protection rackets represent organized
crime at its smoothest, then war making
and state making – quintessential
protection rackets with the advantage of
legitimacy - qualify as our largest
examples of organized crime.”

       What do States Do?
War making: eliminate/neutralize their own rivals
outside the territories in which they have clear &
continuous priority as wielders of force
State making: eliminating or neutralizing their
rivals inside those territories
Protection: eliminate/neutralize the enemies of
their clients
Extraction: acquiring the means of carrying out
the above

Classic European state-making
  followed this causal pattern

   War making       Extraction

    Protection     State making

                            (Tilly, 1985, p. 183)

Global Organized Crime
  James H. Mittelman (Excerpted from
  Mittelman, “Global Organized Crime,”
     in The Globalization Syndrome,
            Princeton, 2000)

   Global Organized Crime
a transnational enterprise
involving multiple persons
organized on a hierarchical basis
for the purpose of securing profit and
power by engaging in illegal activities
 TNCO: transnational criminal organization

        The New Criminality
Globalization presents opportunities for
new forms of illegality that crop up
between established codes of international
law, challenge existing norms, infiltrate licit
(lawful) businesses and extend into
international finance
   e.g., computer crimes, money laundering,
    stealing nuclear materials and “sophisticated

        Sophisticated Fraud
fraud: intentional deception to gain an
advantage or cause harm to another
sophisticated fraud relies on technological
complexity among several parties using
counterfeit bank statements, credit cards,
letters of credit, computer intrusion, and
ingenuity of design
   e.g., stock market “pump & dump” scams and
    pyramid/Ponzi schemes

The “Great Transformation” comes
       to the Global South
Rapid marketization  social dislocation
 rural resentment & peasant uprisings

Polanyi’s “double movement”
(transformation & countermovement)

 Poverty trap of declining incomes
  in countryside and limited legal
opportunities in cities leads people
   to seek emigration “services”
“When poverty is severe, criminal gangs flourish” (236)
Smuggling groups exploit the impoverished
Smuggling operations depend on powerful and wealthy
criminals with the resources to corrupt state officials
Corruption of political authorities is the crucible in which
customs officers, police and tax inspectors assist in the
crime or look other way
    at play in all kinds of smuggling/dealing in contraband

 Causes of rise in transnational
 criminal organizations (TNCOs)
Technological innovations allowing for increased mobility
of people – some carrying contraband – and flow of illicit
   esp air travel, telecommunications, use of computers in business
   contraband: goods whose importation or exportation or
    possession is prohibited by law
Technological innovations that facilitate cross-border
   e.g., satellite technology, fiber optic cable, and the
    miniaturization of computers
Deregulation, by lowering state barriers to free flows of
capital, goods, services, and labor

 Like TNCs, TNCOs operate
 above and below the state
Above the state: they capitalize on
globalizing tendencies of permeable
borders and deregulation

Below/beside the state: they offer
incentives to those marginalized by
globalization, esp. the impoverished

Is such crime a kind of resistance
    to neoliberal globalization?
The marginalized represent the labor
supply in the form of social forces
participating in parallel economy of
organized (and unorganized) crime and
impairing the licit channels of
   The supply side, then, may be regarded as a
    disguised form of resistance to dominant
    mode of globalization

TNCOs – economic or political?
Profit comes not merely from theft but from
emulating market mechanisms
Whereas GOC groups have ostensibly
economic objectives, to extent that they
undermine the main actors in the
globalization process – TNCs and
dominant states – then TNCOs are both a
political component of, and a response to,

TNCOs are similar to legit TNCs
 Embrace logic of market, flexible, hierarchical,
 e.g., triads
    triads: Chinese criminal networks
       based in Hong Kong, Macau, mainland China, and also in
       countries with significant Chinese populations, such as
       Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, U.S. and Canada
 Hong Kong triads provide leadership, while
 commercial tongs (merchants’ guilds), many
 based in Chinatowns, act as local subsidiaries,
 whose activities are facilitated by guanxi
 (connections) in Eastern Asia

Global cities, more than states, are
     the main loci of TNCOs
 Offer agglomerations of financial services
 Sources of technological innovation, advanced
 communications and transportation systems
 Given vast scope of internet, cybergangs can
 assault a global city from anywhere and remain
 Diversity allows TNCOs to blend into legit
 institutions in ethnic neighborhoods of diaspora
    Many such neighborhoods have weak ties to and are
     distrustful of the police, hampering law enforcement

GL of organized crime threatens
         state authority
The state, according to Weber’s influential
conceptualization, exercises monopoly over the
legitimate use of force within a territory
   GL of organized crime weakens basis of government
    and constrains its capacity
While transnational & subnational criminal
groups do not seek to take over state apparatus,
they contest the rationale of the state, esp in
terms of its legitimate control of violence and
maintenance of justice

Growing connections between the state
and organized crime give rise to more
      state-sanctioned violence

 TNCOs involved in arms trade
 Political insurgents rely on TNCOs
 Privatization of security puts the activities
 of contracted military personnel “outside
 the law,” into a kind of legal grey zone

New forms of criminality undermine state
  sovereignty, the inter-state system
 Paradox: heavily laden with trappings of
 force, state is weakened but not powerless

 Traditional notion of jurisdiction based on
 territoriality is progressively brought into

      TNCOs are alternative social
    organizations that, in some ways,
challenge authority of state to impose law
 offer commerce & banking in black/gray markets
 that work outside regulatory frameworks
 buy, sell, and distribute contraband
 swift dispute resolution & debt collection outside
 create & maintain illegal cartels
 secure/protect businesses, and shelter them
 from competitors, the state, and rival criminals


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