Recently, the new European Working group on Organized Crime and Criminal Networks was established. Organized crime and organized crime groups are major societal problems, as they cause serious damage to communities and society at large. They do not only directly threaten the security and livability of society but also systematically undermine – even at the local level – the formal and informal foundations of the rule of law and civil society. Members of organized crime groups, despite representing a small share of total offenders, are responsible for a disproportionate amount of serious offending. In light of the relevance of the topic, organized crime research by scholars in Europe (and beyond) has been blooming since the early 1990s. However, until recently, a European Society of Criminology Working Group on this research topic was still absent.
The goal of the working group is to bring together young and more established researchers, facilitate research on organized crime and criminal networks, and create opportunities for further collaboration. The working group welcomes researchers interested in any organized crime-related topic, including, but not limited to, production and trafficking of illegal goods (e.g., drugs, firearms, waste, wildlife), money laundering, human trafficking, illegal governance, mafia-type organizations, outlaw motorcycle gangs, and criminal networks. We pay attention to offenders’ criminal careers, co-offending networks, modus operandi of organized crime groups, impact on society, reactions and approaches (regulation, law enforcement) to organized crime, and policy discussions.
The activities of the working group will include the organization of thematic panels at the ESC annual conferences, arranging pre-conference meetings between members of the working group, and fostering collaborative work on edited volumes and special issues of scientific journals. We will organize our first panel sessions and social meeting at the next ESC conference in Florence.
We encourage all ESC Members with an interest in organized crime and criminal networks to join the working group, share their expertise, and contribute to building a research network in this subject area. We hope that our working group will also stimulate young researchers to join and learn/share about the various studies and methodologies in research on organized crime and criminal networks. If you are interested in joining or would like to know more about the working group, please contact the chairs Sjoukje van Deuren (email@example.com) or Cecilia Meneghini (firstname.lastname@example.org).