1st Edition

Organised Crime and Law Enforcement A Network Perspective

By David Bright, Chad Whelan Copyright 2021
    234 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    234 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Organised Crime and Law Enforcement: A Network Perspective examines organised crime and law enforcement through the conceptual lens of networks. The book takes stock of the many ways in which network theories and concepts, including social network analysis, can apply to studying both organised crime and law enforcement responses to organised crime. It is the first attempt to bring these diverse network perspectives and distinct fields of research together.

    The book is organised into two parts. The first part uses network perspectives to advance our understanding of the interconnected social structure of organised criminal groups, to expose their strengths and vulnerabilities, and to illuminate factors that enable such groups to undertake complex criminal activities. The second part uses a network lens to examine the challenges that organised criminal groups present for a wide range of law enforcement agencies, and the utility of network theories and concepts in understanding and informing their responses to organised crime.

    Written in a clear and direct style, the book will appeal to scholars and practitioners of criminology, sociology, law enforcement, and all those interested in learning more about theories of organised crime and its relationship with law enforcement.

    1.  Introduction

    Part 1 Organised Crime

    2.  Organised Crime, Criminal Organisations, and Criminal Networks

    3.  Applying a Network Perspective to Organised Crime

    4.  Strengths and Vulnerabilities of Networks

    5.  Enablers of Organised Criminal Groups

    Part 2 Law Enforcement

    6.  Organised Crime and Law Enforcement

    7.  Disrupting Organised Criminal Groups

    8.  Network Structure

    9.  Network Dynamics and Tensions

    10.  Conclusion


    David Bright is an Associate Professor of Criminology with the Centre for Crime Policy and Research at Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia.

    Chad Whelan is an Associate Professor of Criminology in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Deakin University, Geelong, Australia.



    "David Bright and Chad Whelan have written a must-read primer for anyone seeking to understand, investigate, or respond to organised crime. Combining research findings with practical examples from the field, this book illustrates how surveillance, detection and enforcement efforts to disrupt organized crime benefit from adopting a network perspective."

    Gisela Bichler
    , Professor of Criminology, California State University, San Bernadino, USA

    "At a general level, social theory has long observed social relations in terms of networks. This book neatly brings together what is understood about how concepts concerning social networks informs thinking about both crime and law enforcement. Readers will benefit from the clear elucidation of research and theory in this policy domain."

    James Sheptycki
    , Professor of Criminology, York University, Toronto, Canada


    "This is a timely, lucid, and well-informed examination of the network perspective as it relates to organized crime and organized crime control. The main emphasis is on the potential, as well as on the limitations, of conceptualizing organized crime in terms of criminal networks…In many ways, this book is a valuable contribution to the literature."

    Klaus von Lampe, Professor of Criminology, Berlin School of Economics and Law, Germany