Security Journal

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 52–74 | Cite as

Comparing the ties that bind criminal networks: Is blood thicker than water?

  • Aili Malm
  • Gisela Bichler
  • Stephanie Van De Walle
Original Article

Abstract

Structural analysis of illicit markets suggests that criminal enterprise is to some degree linked with legitimate enterprise, and that, networks generally comprise groups and clusters of individuals with varying subgroup structural characteristics. Rather than investigating networks formed exclusively through formal organizational ties, this study compares the structure of criminal networks formed by different types of ties (co-offending, kinship, formal organization membership and legitimate business or other non-criminal connections) using p*(exponential random graph) models. The results indicate that kinship and formal organization networks are highly cohesive and have low fragmentation probabilities. Therefore, the results show that blood, both through kinship ties or the metaphoric blood that ties formal criminal organizations is thicker than the ties that bind co-offending groups. Policy implications for policing techniques are also discussed.

Keywords

network analysis organized crime criminal enterprise kinship p*models exponential random graph modeling 

Notes

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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aili Malm
    • 1
  • Gisela Bichler
    • 2
  • Stephanie Van De Walle
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Criminal JusticeCalifornia State UniversityLong BeachUSA
  2. 2.California State UniversitySan BernardinoUSA
  3. 3.Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceVancouverCanada

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