Organised Crime Around the World
Sabrina Adamoli, Andrea Di Nicola, Ernesto Savona, Paola Zoffi
Helsinki: HEUNI, 1998
177 p.

Subject, Methods, Database:
A survey of organized crime and national and international countermeasures, based on official and media reports.

The World is faced with the growth of transnational criminal organizations which enter into alliances with governments through corrpution or coercion. Illicit activities expand into new markets.
The growing concern regarding the development of organized crime has been translated into an increasing number of international initiatives involving such institutions as the UN, the Council of Europe, the G7, the European Union, the OECD, and the OAS. On the national level, many countries have adopted measures to criminalize money laundering and membership in criminal groups, to seize and confiscate illegal assets and to conduct electronic surveillance.

The authors from the Transcrime Institute in Trento, Italy, provide a broad overview of mainstream perceptions of organized crime and the policies to counter the perceived threat. They include a number of countries and regions of the world which normally do not figure prominently in treatises on organized crime. Although the introduction contains some interesting theoretical reflections, particularly an argument in favor of expanding the concept of organized crime to include various forms of economic crime, the authors largely stick to the undifferentiated phraseology characteristic of the government and media reports on organized crime they primarely rely on.

Overall evaluation:
The book provides a good overview of the global efforts to combat organized crime. A more critical treatment of the official and media sources used for this study would have been nice, though.

Further Reading:
Einstein, Stanley, and Menachem Amir (eds.), Organized Crime: Uncertainties and Dilemmas, Chicago: Office of International Criminal Justice, 1999. (read review)

© Klaus von Lampe, all rights reserved.