Organized crime has become one of most prominent international security concerns of our age. Nevertheless, international efforts to combat it have often been criticized as inadequate, ineffective and illiberal. Repeated calls have been made for greater international collaboration, better data collection, fairer international systems of economic exchange, more accurate and relevant threat assessments, and more humane anti-organized crime policies.
This book argues that such outlooks miss the essential political functions of the international agenda against organized crime. Combining insights from international relations and criminology, policy against organized crime is explained as a potent means by which state cohesiveness and the authority of state elites are strengthened, a means valid as much for stronger as for weaker states, internationally and domestically. Assessing the wider political impact of the agenda, the study includes an unprecedented account of resistance to it. In an age of intensifying international co-operation, an awareness of both should be indispensable.