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About this book

This engaging new textbook presents a comprehensive, nuanced and multidimensional perspective on global crime and its governance. As global criminal activity becomes increasingly sophisticated and elusive, so the means to counter it must adapt. Every day our news media is dominated by incidents that span countries and continents, often presented as an all-encompassing threat orchestrated by societal outsiders. If not in the news, global crime is sensationalised in our film and television industry, and it can be difficult to gain a true understanding of what global crime is and how it is combated.

Featuring the latest research and informed by a wide range of theoretical perspectives, this text masterfully makes sense of a range of issues from global environmental crime and human trafficking, to the global trade in drugs and cybercrime. This pathbreaking text analyses why global crime is important, the obstacles faced in countering it and accounts for the difficulties in securing cooperation across states.

Comprehensive and accessible, this authoritative textbook is the perfect companion for students and scholars who are interested in this still evolving issue of international relations and global politics.

Table of Contents

1. Global Crime Governance: An Overview

Abstract
What do you know about global crime and where has your information come from? Several decades ago, discussion of global crime mostly took place as specialist discourse – or was the subject of films. Since then, the topic of global crime has constantly been on the rise in the media, in public awareness and in policing practices. On any given day, we can read news about global tax havens, human traffickers, corruption or other related crimes – and not all of these reports depict an accurate picture.
Anja P. Jakobi

2. Characteristics of Global Crime

Abstract
To begin the journey in which we explore global crime and its governance, this chapter shows how global crime operates, why it exists, what its consequences are and how crime is assessed. While each crime is different, there are generalized patterns of organization, and the mafia model, often presented in films and popular culture, is only one of them. Moreover, different reasons exist why individuals commit crimes, and the motivation to engage in criminal activity also varies with the specific details and circumstances of each crime. Illegal activities come in different shapes and sizes, and with different implications for security.
Anja P. Jakobi

3. The Politics of Global Crime

Abstract
While global crime has specific characteristics and properties, its governance is based on political considerations, societal norms and international cooperation. International Relations (IR) research typically distinguishes three basic levels of analysis that are also interacting – individual, state, the international system – and global crime governance is linked to all these: Global crime is caused by individuals or organizations, sometimes even states. At the same time, it affects individuals, communities, states and sometimes even international security. To govern crime, state and non-state actors cooperate across borders to prevent and detect crime, to prosecute criminals and to protect those affected. For instance, in the case of international human trafficking, traffickers smuggle people across borders to exploit them. Counter-trafficking efforts not only involve border-checks on the national level, but also target those individuals at risk of being trafficked, making them aware of the dangers involved. Moreover, international cooperation enables the legal harmonization of anti-trafficking laws, information exchange and joint investigations of trafficking processes. While these counter-measures can be helpful to prevent some trafficking, they are not targeting the root causes of trafficking, which are usually poverty and the wish to escape to a better country – a wish traffickers promise to fulfil.
Anja P. Jakobi

4. International Cooperation against Crime

Abstract
While Chapter 3 focused on the main principles of governing crime and the political aspects involved in it, this chapter examines how states have responded to global crime and have cooperated to counter crime. State institutions are territorial in nature and each state is – formally – an equal sovereign actor on the world stage. Cooperation is therefore difficult to achieve, as each state needs to overcome different interests and perceptions of urgency in countering crime, but also the impact of different national laws, traditions and cultures. Criminal law is usually a state regulation, and differences across countries include the responsibilities and mandates of state agencies, as well as the rights of individuals suspected of having committed a crime. States also define and prioritize crime in different ways, including resource expenditures, so that the probability of prosecution varies across countries. Finally, police capabilities also vary from country to country, as does the environment in which crime takes place, so that similar laws and priorities on the global level do not translate into similar rates of success in countering crime nationally.
Anja P. Jakobi

5. State Power against Global Crime: The United States

Abstract
The growth of global crime governance, as multifaceted as it is, has not taken place in a legal or institutional vacuum, but it reflects the structure of the international system. Powerful states – in particular the United States – have left their mark on how crime is countered, which measures are taken and which are not. While the designing and implementation of criminal law, the prosecution of criminals and the protection of people remains a national task, the cooperation in this matter to a large degree reflects preferences of other states. Over the course of time – and comparable to other fields of world politics – different nations have shaped the global governance of crime. As shown in Chapter 4, the growing international exchange of states, businesses and civil society from the 19th century onwards also increased the number of regulations on crime. The ways of influencing global crime governance have multiplied since then, but they have benefited particular powerful states.
Anja P. Jakobi

6. Transnational Actors and Global Crime Governance

Abstract
States, national laws and foreign policy are a cornerstone of global crime governance, yet non-state actors have been an important element in governing crime from early on. Like other research on norms in international politics, the idea of global prohibition regimes considers non-state actors to be the main force in raising global awareness of a crime (Nadelmann 1990a). However, a growing number of non-state actors also shape and implement regulations, creating transnational networks for governance with different roles for civil society, businesses and associations. This development is caused by two different changes. On the national level, the growth of a ‘regulatory state’ decreases state-based governance and increases the involvement of non-state actors in regulating and governing issue areas, including crime (Braithwaite 2000; Grabosky 1995). On the global level, the turn from government to governance (Rosenau and Czempiel 1992) has led to a higher involvement of non-state actors, not only in processes of global agenda-setting but also in regulation and implementation. These developments are also reflected in global crime governance. Box 6.1 lists only a few examples of non-state actors involved, reflecting their diversity. Many of them will also be mentioned in subsequent chapters.
Anja P. Jakobi

7. Narcotic Drugs as a Prototype of Global Crime

Abstract
The global prohibition against narcotic drugs is in many ways a prime example of global crime governance. Historically, it is among the earliest international agreements and activities against crime, starting around the turn to the twentieth century. Its current design embodies the multilevel character of state-based global prohibitions; it is comprehensive in its details and coverage and aims to prosecute different aspects of drug trafficking as a major crime (e.g. Boister 2018: 89–104). Drug consumption is problematized from different perspectives, ranging from moral to economic, security and health concerns, which makes it a highly divisive issue. Moreover, drug trafficking is also linked to major organized crime groups such as the mafia, violent gangs or drug cartels, which made it an early and continuous target for law enforcement (see Chapter 8). Despite these characteristics and the continuous global activities against narcotic drugs, their consumption and prevalence is still common in many societies. As such, the field of global drug control thus shows much and detailed activity, but it cannot count as a highly successful prohibition regime (e.g. Friesendorf 2007; Paoli et al. 2009).
Anja P. Jakobi

8. Crime, Violence and War

Abstract
While Chapter 7 showed the complexity of drug-related crimes and the medical, cultural and economic context, this chapter’s focus is on the link to security politics. In modern societies, violence and war usually signify a breakdown of societal rules; the relation to crime – which is in a sense the breaking of rules as well – is therefore multifaceted. At the same time, crime has also made a ‘career’ in security contexts, today often being identified as a central and new security threat. However, as this book shows, crime is diverse and thus security implications vary. The nexus of crime and conflict has many variants, and causal pathways are complex (De Boer and Bosetti 2015). While all crimes have some implications for security and safety, crimes that link directly to war and violence have immediate implications for individual, collective and international security.
Anja P. Jakobi

9. Global Crime and Human Trafficking

Abstract
Chapter 8 presented a multidimensional perspective on security, referring not only to interstate security and the avoidance of war, but also to security within societies. This chapter takes the notion of security one step further, elaborating on crime that targets individual humans and thus relates to safety. Many criminal activities target individual humans, yet only a few of them are regulated or debated on the global level. These make up the main focus of this chapter. Slavery was among the first crimes against individuals that was ever been debated on a global scale, and many aspects of today’s human trafficking debate could have been applied to this early crime too. For most of the time, however, global counter-efforts against crime have been concerned with crimes that have a high impact on societies as a whole, be it for the economic wealth and power generated by criminal groups through drug trafficking or money laundering, or for the violence carried out in the course of committing crimes against humanity or terrorism. In contrast, human trafficking and related crimes directly concern the victimization of individuals, their lives and perspectives. It is a crime with many dimensions, which has received considerable attention from civil society actors and, increasingly so, from governmental actors (see Box 9.1). Yet, while there is no proponent of human trafficking, many important questions on how to effectively counter this crime remain unresolved.
Anja P. Jakobi

10. Global Environmental Crime

Abstract
Environmental crimes are a comprehensive category and less clearly defined than most offences described in this book. They are increasingly debated in academia and politics because of their implications on the long-term livelihood of humanity as a whole and their damage to fauna and flora. Nevertheless, countries differ in what they perceive as necessary to protect the environment, and unlike other crimes in this book, environmental crimes are rarely criminalized. In that sense, they are rarely crimes in a legal sense. Instead, in line with their theoretical origin in critical criminology, most of them are defined with harm as a central category, thereby differentiating between legal and licit activities in the context of environmental protection (White 2011b: 21–4). Harm may be the direct damage to the environment or indirect damage to humans because of a damaged environment.
Anja P. Jakobi

11. Financial Crimes, Money Laundering and Corruption

Abstract
In one way or another, most crimes presented in this book involve some illicit financial activity. War economies need to be financed, transactions can be based on the proceeds of crime, organized crime groups pay members or corrupt officers, or the gains of crime are invested in the legal economy. Financial crimes are thus part and enabler of other crimes, but, as with other crimes presented in this book, the boundaries of financial crimes are difficult to draw. Sometimes, financial crimes are equated with white-collar crimes; sometimes the category refers to particular crimes that are also linked to the mafia or other groups. Moreover, some white-collar crimes are easy to define as a crime – think of fraud, bribery or skimming of funds – while others are essentially based on the arbitrage of existing regulatory systems. Regulatory arbitrage means exploiting the fact that regulations differ in policy fields and among countries. Technically, regulatory arbitrage is not a crime, but it does exploit loopholes between legal systems of different countries, for instance when multi-million dollar businesses set up different national branches, transferring invoices and payments in a way that they pay tax only where the rate is lowest (Riles 2014: 68–76). Still other crimes have a clear financial dimension but would not necessarily count as financial crime. In 2004, a tobacco company was suspected by the European Union (EU) of systematically smuggling untaxed cigarettes into the EU, which ultimately resulted in a political settlement that included payments of more than a billion euros to fight cigarette smuggling. Later, following a World Health convention against cigarette smuggling, this agreement was not renewed (European Commission 2004; Politico 2016). Financial crimes can also involve states. The United Kingdom (UK) has been suspected by the EU Commission of pursuing lax oversight regarding imports shipped to the EU via the UK. A lack of control led to lower tax revenues in other states and to the start of proceedings against the UK (European Commission 2018). Any aspect of the international political economy can thus be linked to illicit flows and financial crimes.
Anja P. Jakobi

12. Cybercrime, Cyberwar and Cybersecurity

Abstract
Cyberspace is a challenging field to regulate. On the one hand, there are a myriad ways in which to overcome barriers that state governments erect to control global or national cyberspace. On the other hand, the technological knowledge of the details of hacking computer systems, of targeting potential voters, of spying industries or other crimes is quickly evolving, which makes cyberspace related crimes particularly hard to counter. There are also different types of cybercrime, which require very different sorts of engagement. Three types can be roughly distinguished. In the first case, cyberspace is used to simply replicate crimes that can also occur outside cyberspace, such as online fraud, laundering money via online banking and hate speech. In the second case, computer systems are the target; for instance, when a critical infrastructure is hacked or viruses and ransomware are disseminated. In the third case, cyberspace and offline activities merge towards new, illegal or illicit activities. Examples are online data breaches that target voters or online markets that sell drugs or weapons, but at the same time rely on postal services to carry out activities (Tzanetakis et al. 2016). Cybercrime thus does not just replicate ‘off-line crimes with new means, it also represents a new opportunity structure for criminals.
Anja P. Jakobi

13. Conclusions: The Future of Global Crime Governance

Abstract
Global crime has many facets, ranging from core crimes of warfare to intellectual property crimes, drug trafficking and cybercrime. Despite this book’s many pages, there is potentially much more to say about how crime develops, what it affects and how global politics aims to govern crime. Against a background of changing security concerns, this book has introduced global crime governance with a focus on its preconditions, processes and consequences across different issue areas. The chapters have shown the different actors involved in governing global crime, the way in which global crime is prohibited or regulated, as well as the underlying conflicts in related political decisions. To show this variance at a glance, this concluding chapter first delivers a brief summary of the book. It then compares a selection of global crimes, presenting actors, design and conflicts, showing the important variance in how the international community and states aim to govern crime and ensure security. Following on from this summarizing analysis, the second section examines global crime against the background of larger, societal trends, such as securitization, digitalization and others. The final section concludes the book with alternative scenarios to show what global crime governance might look like in the future.
Anja P. Jakobi
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