For many people around the world, instances of what is described as organized crime may be part of their everyday experience; in their neighborhoods, their streets, and the places they work and live. Policymakers, law enforcement, and the media rarely fail to bring up the issue when discussing the nature and seriousness of contemporary criminal threats, and the appropriate responses towards them. Many more people are familiar with the notion of organized crime, as the film and TV industry regularly draw on fictional and real figures and situations. Organized crime feels like a tangible, inescapable issue in today's world.
In this Very Short introduction, Georgios A. Antonopoulos and Georgios Papanicolaou uncover the reality of organized crime in our world today. Shining a light on the people involved in organized crime, Antonopoulos and Papanicolaou question whether the term "organized" is used to evoke the image, the operations, and power of a legitimate organization, such as a corporation. Discussing whether there are particular crimes that the label "organized crime" applies to, or if any crime can be organized, they also consider what happens when organized crime extends beyond borders. Using examples from across the globe, they analyse the different cultural traditions of organized crime, such as the Mafia, Yakuza, and Triads, and also the nature of organized crime, from arms trafficking and drug dealing to extortion. Finally they explore the methods and agencies in place to control and prevent organized crime.
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About the Author
Georgios A. Antonopoulos is Professor of Criminology at Teesside University. He has been visiting scholar at a number of universities in the UK, Greece, Croatia, and the Netherlands. He is an associate of the Cross-Border Crime Colloquium, editor-in-chief of the journal Trends in Organised Crime, and member of the editorial boards of the journals Global Crime, Journal of Financial Crime, Journal of Money Laundering Control, and the British Journal of Criminology. From 2010 to 2014 he was Chair of the North-east branch of the British Society of Criminology, and in 2014 he served as executive director of the International Association for the Study of Organised Crime (IASOC).
Georgios Papanicolaou is Reader in Criminology at Teesside University UK. He has studied law and penal sciences at the University of Athens, Greece, and Criminology at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. Georgios has worked at Teesside since 2008. His research interests evolve around the themes of the political economy of policing and the policing of illicit markets, particularly in a transnational context. Georgios is currently Head of the Department of Criminology, Law, and Policing at Teesside University and an elected member of the Executive Board of the Greek Society for the Study of Crime and Social Control.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: What is organized crime?
2. Organized crime around the globe
3. The business of organized crime
4. Controlling and preventing organized crime
5. Conclusion: Business as usual