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Social Sciences - Criminology & Criminal Justice | Inside Criminal Networks

Inside Criminal Networks

Series: Studies of Organized Crime, Vol. 8

Morselli, Carlo

2009, XII, 204p. 32 illus..

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  • First extensive study of criminal networks
  • The case study designs and analytical paths are straightforward and can serve as a source for future research endeavours using a variety of data sources

What do an illegal drug importer, a stolen car exporter, a Hells Angels member, an accountant, and an airplane hijacker have in common? Like most people, they all operate in social networks—and at times, they come together in criminal networks which, though tightly structured and controlled, undergo constant change. Inside Criminal Networks takes a social network perspective to a variety of illegal enterprises, focusing on these organizations’ "flexible order" and the collective coping and adjustment strategies of offenders when key members or opportunities are lost.

Rich with communication data, electronic surveillance material, and other law-enforcement investigative sources, case studies pursue a number of analytical paths into the partnerships, pecking orders, and situations in flux (e.g., street gang presence within drug distribution), and identify central challenges to research (e.g., are these failed networks if members are arrested?). Flexibility is revealed as a driving force as the book examines:

  • Operational structures and dynamics.
  • Roles of key and peripheral players.
  • The tentative balance between efficiency and security.
  • Criminal network positions and individual traits.
  • Uses of legitimate actors in illegal settings.
  • Adaptation when networks are disrupted.

Compellingly written and meticulously presented, Inside Criminal Networks offers rare up-close insights to readers in the criminology and organized crime research fields, and to social network theorists and analysts.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » Crime - Criminal Justice - Criminal Networks - Criminal Organization - Criminology - Gang - Organized Crime - Social Network Analysis - co-offending - drug trafficking - police

Related subjects » Criminology & Criminal Justice - Social Sciences

Table of contents 

Acknowledgements Chapter 1: The Criminal Network Perspective 1. A Criminal Network is a Social Network, but… 2. Flexible Order 3. Centrality and Key Player Designations Direct Centrality and Visibility Brokers as Key Players 4. Seek, Rather than Assume, Structure Organization of the Book Chapter 2: Case Study Sources and Designs 1. Case Selection and Access 2. Case Study Descriptions Krebs’ Terrorist Network Project Ciel Project Caviar Projects Siren and Togo Operation Springtime 2001 Street Gangs and Drug Distribution in Montreal North 3. Designing the Criminal Networks The Matrix and the Sociogram Assembling the Final Network Representation 4. Centrality and Analogous Network Measures In the Thick of Things In Between In the Thick of the Thick Less Efficiently In Between Localized Clustering 5. Challenges in Criminal Network Analysis Clarity and Attributes in Relational Data Missing Data Beyond the Final Network Representation Missing Data Within the Final Network Representation Are Central Participants Simply Central Targets of a Police Investigation? Are Law-enforcement Intercepted Networks Simply Failed Criminal Networks? Chapter 3: Partnership Configurations in Illegal DrugImportation 1. Resource-Sharing in Crime 2. Two Networks in One 3. Direct and Indirect Connectivity Within the Ciel Network 4. Conclusion Chapter 4: The Efficiency-Security Trade-off 1. The Network’s Objective and Time-to-Task 2. Snakes and Clusters 3. Centrality Issues and Distinctions 4. Conclusion Chapter 5: Legitimate Strengths in Criminal Networks 1. Legitimate Actors in Criminal Settings 2. Differences Between Trafficker and Non-Trafficker Subsets 3. Seeds in the Network 4. The Direction of Contact 5. Discrete Participants and Pawns 6. Conclusion Chapter 6: Law-Enforcement Disruption of a Drug Importation Network 1. Coding for Criminal Network Dynamics The Context of Control The Uniqueness of the Caviar Case 2. Characteristics of the Overall Caviar Network 3. Changes in the Caviar Network Across Investigative Phases Decentralization and Core Changes Disorder and Accountability 4. Conclusion Chapter 7: Brokerage Qualifications in Ringing Scripts 1. Crime Scripts and Flexibility 2. Merging Crime Script and Social Network Frameworks 3. The Case Study Design Determining Brokerage Qualifications Assessing Participant Removal Impact on Script Permutation 4. Criminal Network Flexibility and Script Permutation Overall Scripts

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