Felia Allum*, Anita Lavorgna  and Yuliya Zabyelina

Dear Reader,

We are proud to present the second issue of The European Review of Organised Crime (EROC). Even if when the call for papers was published a few months ago we took a risk of not receiving any submissions in light of a competitive market of well-established publications and a busy academic season, we have received many interesting and excellent submissions and are happy to present you some in this second issue. Such a response to the call for papers is definitely an indication to us that an interdisciplinary international journal covering a wide range of subjects related to organised crime and promoting a dialogue between the academic community and practitioners is a worthwhile endeavour initiated by the Standing Group on Organised Crime (SGOC). We are particularly proud of the very positive response we are receiving from members of the law-enforcement and think-tank communities. We are confident that an enriched conversation between them and the many academic circles interested in organised crime research will contribute to a stronger understanding on the phenomenon and to enhanced capacities to tackle organised crime.

*Felia Allum is a Lecturer in Politics and Italian in the Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies, University of Bath, Claverton Down, Bath BA2 7AY, UK. She is also the Convenor of the ECPR Standing group on Organised Crime. Email: f.s.allum@bath.ac.uk

The European Review of Organised Crime 1(2), 2014, 1-4 ISSN: 2312-1653

© ECPR Standing Group of Organised Crime.

For permissions please email: erocjournal@gmail.com

In this issue you will find three original articles, two research notes, two practitioner’s insights, and a debate piece. As in our inaugural issue, we continue to promote a wide range of publication formats as we consider this important feature of EROC and a way to promote constructive discussion among different communities.

Francesco Strazzari’s original article offers an analysis of the dynamics of drug trafficking across North and West Africa. Based on a comparative case study of Guinea Bissau, a country that has often been stigmatized as a narco-state, and Morocco, widely regarded as a long-term partner of Western powers in projecting stability and development in the region, the author explores the relationship between political instability and organised crime. The author argues that transit countries are not passive containers of drug trafficking activities, but that drug trafficking via transit counties is actively sponsored by the body politic and its various forms of selective protection, repression, and extraction.

In his original article, Nicholas Gilmour discusses the potential applicability of crime commission scripts for improving our understanding of two specific methods for money laundering (through cash intensive businesses and through the purchasing of high value portable commodities) and suggests how script might help informing effective policies for the prevention of money laundering.

Vittorio Martone presents an analysis of the Neapolitan Camorra as a

“stakeholder” in local governance in the Campania region, in particular in relation to the cement business and waste management industry. He argues that Camorra clans have to been analysed as fully integrated into the local economy and political system mainly due to the structure of the State and its distribution of funds.

As anticipated, EROC second issue offers also two research notes to give its authors and readers the opportunity to engage in the production and dissemination of ideas in the study on organised crime that are time-sensitive and informative. Marco de Biase, an Italian ethnographer, elaborates some thoughts about undertaking research on traditional criminal groups in Belgium, a non-traditional territory. He reflects upon the various difficulties involved in this type of research but also raises questions about how Italian mafias abroad may not have the same characteristics as in Italy and should be seen as “mafia practices” rather than mafia organisations.

In his research note, Stephen Pruss assesses the framing of organised crime in German newspapers and its implications, suggesting that media narratives often fuel stereotypes and promote a populist agenda.

We are delighted to host two contributions that shed light on some practical aspects of the fight against organised crime. Francesco Lo Voi and Fabio Giuffrida outline the role of Eurojust in combating transnational crime but even more importantly its role in developing European cooperation across borders and member states. Eurojust does not have an easy task because of the political nature of the EU and the lack of understanding by some member states of the threat of cross border criminal groups especially their capacity to “regime shop” and launder money in different European economies. The internationally-renowned specialist in trafficking in cultural goods currently from the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) and former prosecutor Paolo Giorgio Ferri shares his expertise about the black market in cultural and artistic goods. By offering first-hand insight into a major law enforcement investigation on art crime, the author also provides specific practical suggestions as to how trafficking in cultural and artistic goods could be reduced. Finally, Sasha Jesperson discusses the importance for academics, practitioners and policy makers to engage in a common conversation around organised crime, in particular to fill the knowledge gap which exists in the UK. This kind of dialogue can only improve the quality of research and policies.

The content of this issue addresses a range of subjects from theoretical discussions to in-depth empirical explorations and they contribute to the study of organised crime. We hope that EROC’s future issues will continue the much needed effort in examining these problems so that the community of scholars and practitioners can better meet the challenges that exist in contemporary societies around the world.

The review process would not have been possible without the contribution of our dedicated and experienced peer reviewers. We would like to thank each of them (in alphabetical order):

Special thanks go to Chris Bowkett and Eleonora Forte for proofreading and editing EROC’s manuscripts.  May we take this opportunity to wish you a great 2015! Let 2015 be another successful year on the road towards generating new knowledge and achieving preeminent excellence in research and education!


The Editors