Organised Crime Has Globalized And Turned Into A Security Threat. Discuss International Relations Essay

2260 words - 10 pages

In the last century alone, human beings have been able to achieve an unprecedented level of communication and development that would have been deemed inconceivable by generations’ prior. The world we live is now a more complex and interconnected system that has enabled relationships to be formed with ease across oceans and borders, resulting in the use of the term “global village” to describe modern society. It has made new forms of trade available, increased international transport, urbanized areas across the globe and ushered in an era of groundbreaking technological development. However, not all of the effects of globalization have been positive. With the effortlessness of international trade, travel and communications technology, it has resulted in the rise of organised crime and other forms of illicit activities associated with the dark side of human nature. The exponential growth of transnational organised crime has caused scholars from Susan Strange to Moises Naim to identify it as a source of threat to the current world order and has been remarked upon repeatedly as a worrying trend (Zabyelina, date, Naim, date). This essay will outline the ways in which organised crime has indeed globalized through a comparison to previous crime bodies, the increased links between organised crime and terrorism, and the rise of the mafia state. It will then proceed to challenge whether it is necessarily as large a security threat as the media and some IR scholars make it out to be. Comment by Nicola Davies :
Organized crime is not a modern phenomenon and has traditionally been viewed as a domestic legislative issue. The United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime defines organized crime as ‘any serious offence committed by a group of three or more people with the aim of making money’ (date, 19). However, since the end of the Cold War, the nature of organized crime has changed dramatically. Williams (date) highlights that ‘crime has taken on new international dimensions and criminal organisations have developed to resemble transnational corporations (page). These more recent transnational organised crimes include the ‘trade in prohibited commodities… the smuggling of legal commodities… the clandestine movement of people… [and] the laundering of money generated by these and other illicit activities’ (Andreas, 406, date). Regardless of the product smuggled, all of these illicit acts share a number of defining characteristics, chiefly being that they move commodities across borders using methods designed to evade detection as a result of relaxed trade controls. Organised crime has capitalized on the open financial markets of modern-day society that was made possible through the process of globalization. Comment by Nicola Davies : Comment by Nicola Davies : Comment by Nicola Davies : Comment by Nicola Davies : Comment by Nicola Davies : Elaborate?
Prior to the Cold War, organized crime was relatively restricted to operate within local...

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