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Transnational Crime and Corruption (George Mason University – Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Centre)

Developed by Professor Louise Shelley at George Mason University, this course provides an overview of transnational crime and corruption and its effects on the political, economic, and social development of countries around the world. The growing problem of transnational crime in conflict regions is a central focus. The increasing links among crime groups, corruption and terrorism and the diverse range of activities in both the legitimate and illegitimate economy are also addressed. The diverse dimensions of transnational crime and corruption are examined from the perspective of American specialists, as well as those in other parts of the world.

Some sample modules and examples of recommended readings include:

Conceptualising the problem

This module focuses on how transnational crime often has deep historical roots within many societies that are overlooked in many current analyses of the recent rise of the phenomena.

§   L. Shelley, "Transnational Organized Crime: An Imminent Threat to the Nation State?," Journal of International Affairs, 45(2): 463-489, 1995

§   K. Thachuk, Transnational Threats: Smuggling and Trafficking in Arms, Drugs and Human Life (Westport, CT: Praeger, 2007), Introduction, pp. 3-20

§   S. Strange, "Organized Crime: the Mafias," in Retreat of the State: The Diffusion of Power in the World Economy, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), pp. 110-121

Facilitating transnational crime and corruption

This module examines the hypothesis that transnational crime is able to function because there has been a decline of borders and a rise of ease of communications through the internet and other advanced communication channels.

§   R. Koslowski, “The Mobility Money Can Buy: Human Smuggling and Border Control in the European Union,” in P. Andreas and T. Snyder (eds.), The Wall Around the West State Borders and Immigration Controls in North America and Europe (Maryland: Lowman and Littlefield, 2000), pp.203-218

§   M. Glenny, McMafia: A Journey Through the Criminal Underworld (New Work: Knopf, 2008), pp. 264-274 (on cybercrime)

Combating Transnational Organized Crime and Corruption

This module seeks to answer questions such as: Why do the means necessary to combat corruption and organized crime extend beyond legal prohibitions and prosecutions? What do the problems in combating drugs and human trafficking reveal about the larger problems of transnational crime?

§   M. Berdal and D. Malone, Greed and Grievance Economic Agendas in Civil Wars (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 2000), pp. 173-88 and pp. 203-32

§   J. R. Wagley, “Transnational Organized Crime: Principal Threats and U.S. Responses,” Congressional Research Service, March 2006

§   D. Giovanini, “Taking Animal Trafficking Out of the Shadows, Renctas Uses the Internet to Combat a Multi-Billion Dollar Trade,” Innovations, 1(2): 119-39, 2008

For more information, please see: http://traccc.gmu.edu/pdfs/syllabi/2010_fall_syllabi/ShelleyPUBP710_002.pdf

and http://policy.gmu.edu/about-us/faculty-staff/directory-of-faculty-staff/louise-i-shelley/


14 Nov 2013



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