Organized Crime (organized + crime)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Mumbai's Development Mafias: Globalization, Organized Crime and Land Development

Abstract For over a decade, researchers have analyzed the effects of liberalization and globalization on urban development, considering the local political implications of shifts at the national and global scales. Taking the case of Mumbai, this article examines how the past 15 years of political reforms in India have reshaped property markets and the politics of land development. Among the newly empowered actors, local criminal syndicates, often with global connections, have seized political opportunities created by these shifts to gain influence over land development. The rise of Mumbai's organized criminal activity in the 1950s was closely linked to India's macroeconomic policies, with strict regulation of imports fuelling the growth of black market smuggling. Liberalization and deregulation since the early 1990s have diminished demand for smuggled consumer goods and criminal syndicates have since diversified their operations. With skyrocketing real estate prices in the 1990s, bolstered by global land speculation, the mafia began investing in property development. Supported by an illicit nexus of politicians, bureaucrats and the police, the mafia has emerged as a central figure in Mumbai's land development politics. The article examines the structural shifts that facilitated the criminalization of land development and the implications of mafia involvement in local politics. Résumé Depuis plus d'une décennie, les chercheurs ont analysé les effets de la libéralisation et de la mondialisation sur l'aménagement urbain en étudiant les implications politiques locales de transformations effectuées à l'échelle nationale et planétaire. Prenant le cas de Mumbai, cet article examine comment les réformes politiques des quinze dernières années en Inde ont reconfiguré les marchés immobiliers et les politiques d'aménagement foncier. Parmi les nouveaux acteurs, les syndicats du crime locaux, opérant souvent dans des réseaux internationaux, ont saisi les occasions politiques créées par ces changements pour gagner en influence sur l'aménagement foncier. A Mumbai, l'activité accrue du crime organisé dans les années 1950 était étroitement liée aux politiques macroéconomiques de l'Inde, une réglementation stricte des importations alimentant l'essor de la contrebande sur le marché noir. Depuis le début des années 1990, libéralisation et déréglementation ont réduit la demande pour les biens de consommation de contrebande, poussant les syndicats du crime à diversifier leurs opérations. Face à la montée en flèche des prix de l'immobilier dans les années 1990, aidée par la spéculation foncière mondiale, la mafia a investi dans la promotion immobilière. Soutenue par un réseau illégal de politiciens, bureaucrates et policiers, elle est donc devenue un personnage central des politiques d'urbanisme à Mumbai. L'article étudie les transformations structurelles qui ont facilité la criminalisation du secteur foncier, et les implications de la présence de la mafia dans la politique locale. [source]

What are the policy lessons of National Alcohol Prohibition in the United States, 1920,1933?

ADDICTION, Issue 7 2010
Wayne Hall
ABSTRACT National alcohol prohibition in the United States between 1920 and 1933 is believed widely to have been a misguided and failed social experiment that made alcohol problems worse by encouraging drinkers to switch to spirits and created a large black market for alcohol supplied by organized crime. The standard view of alcohol prohibition provides policy lessons that are invoked routinely in policy debates about alcohol and other drugs. The alcohol industry invokes it routinely when resisting proposals to reduce the availability of alcohol, increase its price or regulate alcohol advertising and promotion. Advocates of cannabis law reform invoke it frequently in support of their cause. This paper aims: (i) to provide an account of alcohol prohibition that is more accurate than the standard account because it is informed by historical and econometric analyses; (ii) to describe the policy debates in the 1920s and 1930s about the effectiveness of national prohibition; and (iii) to reflect on any relevance that the US experience with alcohol prohibition has for contemporary policies towards alcohol. It is incorrect to claim that the US experience of National Prohibition indicates that prohibition as a means of regulating alcohol is always doomed to failure. Subsequent experience shows that partial prohibitions can produce substantial public health benefits at an acceptable social cost, in the absence of substantial enforcement. [source]

Transnational organized crime in West Africa: the additional challenge

Despite its vast natural and human resources and the undisputed progress made in the last decade towards the establishment of democratic culture and governing systems, West African countries continue to occupy the bottom ranks of the UN Human Development Index. Similarly, many of them score poorly in World Bank and Transparency International indexes that measure good governance. The international mass media have recently highlighted the role played by the West African region in the transatlantic cocaine trade, as well as in the flow of illegal migrants to Europe. Drugs and migrants are, however, just two of the numerous illicit activities that feed the growth of local and transnational criminal organizations, and the establishing of a culture of quick and easy money that is progressively eroding the foundations of any sustainable and well balanced socio-economic development. The pervasive power of the corruption of criminal organizations, coupled with a general crisis by state actors in the administration of justice and enforcement of the rule of law, contribute towards the progressive diminishing of the credibility of the state as the institution entrusted with the prerogatives of guaranteeing security (of people and investments) and dispensing justice. In this context, the case of Guinea Bissau is probably the clearest example of what West African states may face in the near future if the issues of justice and security are not properly and promptly addressed. If primary responsibilities lie with West African governments and institutions, the international community as a whole should also review its approach to development policies by not only mainstreaming the issues of security and justice in their bilateral and multilateral agendas, but also by making it an essential cornerstone of policies and programmes aimed at supporting good governance and the establishment of states ruled by the law. [source]

Human Rights of Migrants: Challenges of the New Decade

Patrick A. Taran
This review summarizes main trends, issues, debates, actors and initiatives regarding recognition and extension of protection of the human rights of migrants. Its premise is that the rule of law and universal notions of human rights are essential foundations for democratic society and social peace. Evidence demonstrates that violations of migrants' human rights are so widespread and commonplace that they are a defining feature of international migration today. About 150 million persons live outside their countries; in many States, legal application of human rights norms to non-citizens is inadequate or seriously deficient, especially regarding irregular migrants. Extensive hostility against, abuse of and violence towards migrants and other non-nationals has become much more visible worldwide in recent years. Research, documentation and analysis of the character and extent of problems and of effective remedies remain minimal. Resistance to recognition of migrants' rights is bound up in exploitation of migrants in marginal, low status, inadequately regulated or illegal sectors of economic activity. Unauthorized migrants are often treated as a reserve of flexible labour, outside the protection of labour safety, health, minimum wage and other standards, and easily deportable. Evidence on globalization points to worsening migration pressures in many parts of the world. Processes integral to globalization have intensified disruptive effects of modernization and capitalist development, contributing to economic insecurity and displacement for many. Extension of principles in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights culminated in the 1990 International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families. With little attention, progress in ratifications was very slow until two years ago. A global campaign revived attention; entry into force is likely in 2001. Comparative analysis notes that ILO migrant worker Conventions have generally achieved objectives but States have resisted adoption of any standards on treatment of non-nationals. A counter-offensive against human rights as universal, indivisible and inalienable underlies resistance to extension of human rights protection to migrants. A parallel trend is deliberate association of migration and migrants with criminality. Trafficking has emerged as a global theme contextualizing migration in a framework of combatting organized crime and criminality, subordinating human rights protections to control and anti-crime measures. Intergovernmental cooperation on migration "management" is expanding rapidly, with functioning regional intergovernmental consultative processes in all regions, generally focused on strengthening inter-state cooperation in controlling and preventing irregular migration through improved border controls, information sharing, return agreements and other measures. Efforts to defend human rights of migrants and combat xenophobia remain fragmented, limited in impact and starved of resources. Nonetheless, NGOs in all regions provide orientation, services and assistance to migrants, public education and advocating respect for migrants rights and dignity. Several international initiatives now highlight migrant protection concerns, notably the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights of Migrants, the Global Campaign promoting the 1990 UN Convention, UN General Assembly proclamation of International Migrants Day, the 2001 World Conference Against Racism and Xenophobia, anti-discrimination activity by ILO, and training by IOM. Suggestions to governments emphasize the need to define comprehensive, coordinated migration policy and practice based on economic, social and development concerns rather than reactive control measures to ensure beneficial migration, social harmony, and dignified treatment of nationals and non-nationals. NGOs, businesses, trade unions, and religious groups are urged to advocate respect for international standards, professionalize services and capacities, take leadership in opposing xenophobic behaviour, and join international initiatives. Need for increased attention to migrants rights initiatives and inter-agency cooperation by international organizations is also noted. [source]

Illegal Migration: What Can We Know And What Can We Explain?

The Case of Germany
Methodological problems in the study of illegal migration as defined in this article relate to questions of indicators for illegal migration, with special reference to Germany. It is argued and demonstrated that illegal immigrants are traceable, to some degree, in official statistics and that these can be analyzed for trends. In present-day migration processes, illegal immigration frequently is undertaken with the support of human smugglers. The analysis of the social organization of different forms of smuggling is the other main focus of the article. From a methodological point of view, the literature and public discourse lack adequate concepts for describing and explaining the social organization of human smuggling. The theory of organized crime as a main actor in human smuggling is criticized. The study borrows concepts from market and networks theory and applies these to different forms of human smuggling and illegal migration. The social and technological organization of smuggling is under constant pressure to adapt to new conditions. The dynamism for this change results mainly from an "arms race" between smugglers and law enforcement. Since control over territory and population are central elements of state sovereignty, the state cannot simply withdraw from this race. [source]