Globalisation and Crime

  • Created by: Lilly
  • Created on: 23-04-14 18:15

Globalisation Definitions and causes

McGrew- The process whereby events, decisions and activities in one part of the world have significant consequences for people in distant parts of the globe.''

'Shrinking world'- socities are becoming more interconnected.

Caused by:

  • Spread of new info and media tech- internet and satellite TV
  • Cheaper air travel
  • Mass tourism
  • Mass migration
  • Increase in the number of TNCs that produce and market goods and brands in global marketplace.
  • Influence of global mass media
  • Deregulation of dinance and other markets.
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Held et al- globalisation created new opportunities for different crimes-  cyber crime.

Ian Taylor- marxist perspective.

  • Global capitalism allows mutlinational corporations to move from country to c in search of profitability = reduces job security and increased unemployment, especially in manufacturing industry (when London docklands closed down 60% of men unemployed) -- caused young WC men to turn to crime. Similarly to Murray (New Right) beleives an underclass has developed.
  • This criminality is caused by material deprivation and job insecurity, not a dependency culture.
  • Part time / temp jobs encourage employment of illegal employment, particularly illegal immigrants.
  • Underminds cohesion- widening inequality.
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Crime and globalisation

Castells -- Global crime economy worth over £1 trillion a yr. Is demand side (West) and supply side (3rd world countries). Global crime economy couldn't function without supply side that provides sex, drugs and workers. Many global criminal networks have developed to feed demand from affluent west, especially for drugs and prostitution.

Drugs trafficking:

  • 1st illegal sector to maximise profits in globalised world, quick easy with ublikely detection- more people going in/ out of countries- more chances of drugs being successfully smuggled.
  • Potential profits are huge, but with huge human cost- illegally smuggled drugs responsible for 52,000 American deaths per year.

People Trafficking:

  • Adults - prostitution, forced labour and removal of organs- estimated 2,000 organs taken from criminals in China.
  • Children- prostitution, illegal adoption, forced marriages and soliders (Kony)
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Crime and globalisation cont.


  • Fastest growing criminal activities take place online.
  • Includes- financial scames, computer hacking, virus attacks, creating websites to promote racial and religious hatred, stalking email and identity theft.
  • Made possible by increased reliance on computers in homes and businesses and internet.
  • Undectected, underreported and difficult to prevent and track.

Statistics of global crime are difficult to police... international laws are ill defined and international CJ agencies do not have global powers. Cooperation between international agencies limited / hindered by conflict.

Marxists would argue that it is not only global criminal gangs that are responsible for cimr, TNCs also commit crimes (Green crime, illegal dumping of toxic waste)

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Who commits the crimes

Graham Taylor

  • Globalisation has made it easier for elite groups and TNCs to move funds and profits around world to avoid taxation. Overlap between crime and powerful wealthy elites.

Radical criminologists

  • Many global crimes committed by powerful people, use influence to ensure no laws exists to criminalize their activities.
  • Many argue that crime needs to be redefined, rather than meaning 'activities that break domestic or international laws,' crimes need to include all activities that harm living species and the environment- studying such harms called Zemiology.
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Global Risk Consciousness

Ulrich Beck  -- Postmodernist

  • Globalisation creates new insecurities and anxieties / ''risk conscioussness'
  • This risk is seen as global rather than in one particular place. It can threaten people from a long distance (global terroism)
  • Media created moral panics- negative coverage of immigrants = hate crimes. Intensification of social control at national level (such as UK tightening it's borders, stronger airport security).
  • Leads to increase in domestic crimes- TNCs switch production away from west to developing world - unemployment, poverty and expanding inequalities.
  • Media and advertising- encourage materialistic goals, strian from lack of lack of legitimate opportunities leads to crime. 


  • Marketisation encouraged to see themselves as individuals - undermining social cohesion. Increasing materialistic culture promoted by global media portraying success in terms of lifestyle and consumption. Factors create insecurity and widening inequalities that encourage people to turn to crime- deindustrialisation in LA led to growth of drug gangs 
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Patterns of criminal organisation

Globalistion creates new criminal opportunities, given rise to new forms of global organisations.

1) 'Glocal' organisation

  • Hobbs and Dunningham- individuals with contacts acting as 'hub' around which a loose-knit network forms, often linking legitimate and illegitimate activites.
  • New forms of organisation have gone global but crime is still rooted in it's local context - still a need for local contacts to find opportunities to sell drugs.
  • Glocal- locally based but with global connections.

2) McMafia

  • Misha Glenny. Refers to organisation in Russia and Eastern Europe after communism.
  • Russian gov deregulated much of economy- huge rises in price of food & rent. Commodity prices (oil, gas) kept at old prices (lower than rest of world) therefore well educated citizens with access to large funds could buy goods cheaply and sell at profit - created Russian capitalist class- Oligarchs.
  • Protect themselves turned to new 'mafia' (ex-state security, secret servicement from old communist regime). With assistance were able to protect wealth and means of moving goods out of country.
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Impacts of globalisation

Ruggens (1996)

  • Decline in employment encourages growth of small firms in west Europe, to avoid labour laws

Michalowski & Kramer (1987)

  • Can exercise policy of law evasion- set up in areas of less strict environmental policies, do not have to dispose of waste carefully, and can sell unsafe goods to poorer countries.

Box (1983)

  • Multinationals dump prodcuts, plants and practices illegal in industrialised countries onto LEDCs, able to do this because LEDCs do not have resources/laws to control companies, authorities collect bribes.
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