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CIAO Focus, August 2012: International Organized Crime

Transnational organized crime (TOC) is a global
challenge posing serious threats to our collective
peace and security. But in conflict-affected and
fragile states the threats of transnational organized
crime present particular and insidious challenges
requiring new and innovative responses. Not only
does TOC undermine the strength of the state, it
further affects the critical and often contested
relationship between the state and society. In
fragile and conflict-affected states it is precisely the
degraded nature of this relationship that often
prevents progress toward greater peace and
prosperity. While there is now an established
correlation between conflict and state fragility,
much less is understood about the relationship
between transnational organized crime, conflict,
and fragility. This report examines the dynamics
between conflict, state fragility, and TOC,
demonstrating how the three fit together in an
uneasy triumvirate, and it presents ideas for a more
effective response.

Roughly half of all illicit transactions in the world
are taking place in countries experiencing a range
of weak enforcement mechanisms, low levels of
economic well-being, insufficient government
capacity, and significant societal divisions. In these
contexts, transnational criminal networks further
erode state legitimacy by incentivizing corruption,
infiltrating state structures, and competing with the
state in the provision of services.

--Rachel Locke
  International Peace Institute

From the CIAO Database:

Organized Crime, Conflict, and Fragility: A New Approach

Shadow Networks: The Growing Nexus of Terrorism and Organized Crime

Know Your Enemy: An Overview of Organized Crime Threat Assessments

Termites at Work: Transnational Organized Crime and State Erosion in Kenya

Transnational Organized Crime

Transnational Organized Crime and the Palermo Convention: A Reality Check


Outside Sources: *

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

INTERPOL: Organized Crime

Expert Working Group Report on International Organized Crime

Strategy to Combat Transnational Organized Crime (White House)

Transnational Organized Crime (U.S. Department of Justice)

* Outside links are not maintained. For broken outside links, CIAO recommends the Way Back Machine.