Center for Global Affairs

Transnational Crime

When societies get organized, so too do their criminals. Likewise, the globalization of the `upperworld¿ has been mirrored by the transnationalization of the underworld. The smallest drug-dealing street gang, whether it appreciates it or not, is part of a global criminal market with an estimated annual turnover of a trillion dollars. This global underworld not only reflects the legitimate world¿taking advantages of new opportunities or reacting to the ebb and flow of power and economic development¿but, it also influences it, from perpetuating markets in weapons which arm insurgents and terrorists around the world to facilitating migration and undermining government control of territories, borders, and economies. Global crime is not an organized global conspiracy, nor is it a random collection of maladjusted thugs, frauds and psychopaths. It is a complex array of competing, cooperating, stable, fragmenting, local and multinational organizations. It is also powerful, and growing. This course will adopt a deliberately broad perspective, covering thematic issues as well as a wide range of criminal organizations and cultures, from the Sicilian Mafia and its transplanted North American cousins to the emerging threats of the present day, such as the criminalized state of North Korea and the entrenched power of the `mafia¿ in modern Russia. Above all, it will explore the impact of transnational crime on our world, and the responses necessary to control it.
Course Number
Associated Degrees