Hidden power : the strategic logic of organized crime by James Cockayne

By James Cockayne

An exploration of an international within which states and mafias compete in a ""market for government,"" and never purely states, but in addition a few legal teams make war.

summary: An exploration of an international within which states and mafias compete in a ""market for government,"" and never merely states, but additionally a few felony teams make battle

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Extra resources for Hidden power : the strategic logic of organized crime

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99 This has in turn fuelled suggestions that even organized crime is better thought of not as a closed, directed enterprise, but as an open activity or method, culture, system or form of power into which a range of actors can tap. 108 As Southerland and Potter note: € viewed from a distance, criminal enterprises might give the impression of producing a very high volume of illicit activity, which because of its prevalence seems highly organized, and … appears to be a single organization or several very large organizations.

144 But this description overlooks the transac34 THE STRATEGIC ORGANIZATION OF CRIME tional nature of corruption, which exchanges an illegal or illicit exercise of governmental discretion (whether in a position of public office or private authority) for a criminal rent. Corruption subverts the exercise of governmental power through threats and/or payments, giving privileged access to public contracts, protecting criminals from law enforcement or targeting a criminal group’s rivals. In some cases, criminal groups use corruption to influence the way that the state defines and regulates criminal activity, to their advantage.

As Adam Elkus notes of Mexico: Much of the violence associated with the drug war is … vicious gang warfare, mutilation and beheadings, and bizarre pseudo-religious sects known as narcocultos. Such behaviors were once common in Europe—the Thirty Years’ War being the most prominent example—and do not change the fact that deliberate policy and strategy guides the violence, not mass brutality. 95 Still, it is one thing to say that crime—and associated violence—is rationally planned by individuals, and another to say that it is systematically, collectively organized.

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