1st Edition

Organized Crime and the Nation-State Geopolitics and National Sovereignty

By De Leon Petta Gomes da Costa Copyright 2019
    108 Pages
    by Routledge

    108 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Geopolitics is an increasingly important tool to understand national and international relations.

    This book unravels how organized crime is not just a marginal problem but part of a bigger geopolitical and asymmetrical warfare strategy. It seeks to establish a direct relationship between Nation States and organized crime groups. Many States have been using criminal and terrorist organizations as a policy for issues of national sovereignty or as a tool to strengthen a nation’s geopolitical position. This book demonstrates how national states are utilizing criminal organizations in covert operations and "dirty jobs" such as espionage, proxy war, arms trafficking and sabotage. Examples from the United States, China and the Soviet Union are explored, providing both an historical and contemporary analysis, from World War II through to the Cold War and to the present day. The book brings together perspectives from international relations and criminology drawing on insights from a variety of sources, including public documents and interviews.


    1. Geopolitics and organized crime: Delimiting the geopolitical subject and its relation to organized crime

    2. Filling vacuums: Bourdieu and Alinsky meet Ratzel and Kissinger

    3. Cooperation between nation-states and organised crime

    4. China and its invisible hand

    5. Soviet Union and Russia: The use of underground forces

    6. Conclusions and final considerations



    De Leon Petta Gomes da Costa is a Professor of International Security in Rio Branco College, Brazil, specializing in Geopolitics, Organized Crime and non-conventional warfare. He was also a Visiting Researcher at Virginia Commonwealth University, USA and Honorary Researcher at Hong Kong University.