Crime, Law and Social Change

, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 51–97

The paradoxes of organized crime

Authors

  • Letizia Paoli
    • Department of CriminologyMax Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law
Article

DOI: 10.1023/A:1013355122531

Cite this article as:
Paoli, L. Crime, Law and Social Change (2002) 37: 51. doi:10.1023/A:1013355122531

Abstract

The paper argues that the concept of organised crime inconsistently incorporates the following notions: a) the provision of illegal goods and services and b) a criminal organization, understood as a large-scale collectivity, primarily engaged in illegal activities with a well-defined collective identity and subdivision of work among its members. Against this superimposition, the author's contention is twofold: (1) The supply of illegal commodities mainly takes place in a `disorganized' way and, due to the constraints of product illegality, no immanent tendency towards the development of large-scale criminal enterprises within illegal markets exist. (2) Some lasting large-scale criminal organizations do exist, but they are neither exclusively involved in illegal market activities, nor is their development and internal configuration the result of illegal market dynamics.For Susan Strange: mentor and friend

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002