The Evolution of Global Organized Crime

In “Global Organized Crime”, James H. Mittelman discusses the evolution of organized crime with globalization since the 1970s. Mittelman attributes one reason for this rapid growth due to modernization and the new types of crimes possible today such as computer scams, money laundering, stealing nuclear materials and counterfeit forms of money. These crimes are possible due to technological advancements such as “commercial airlines, telecommunications, and the use of computers in business” (227). Criminal groups now have access to a much larger network of people and have more sensible means of transporting goods to buyers around the world. People migrating to different areas have also played a large role in the expansion of organized crime. Mittelman provides the example of the Chinese emigration due to the vast uneven economic growth and surplus of workers. He says, “millions of low income farm workers have been pushed off the land to make way for large-scale industrial and commercial projects, triggering massive internal migration that coastal municipalities, now surrounded by burgeoning shantytowns cannot absorb” (227). With the increase in poverty and desperate workers looking for money brings criminal activity. Criminal gangs bring in a lot of illegal revenue, which can attract people who have no other hope, or means of finding money. I think one area Mittelman could have shined a little bit more light on was how the increase of organized groups and buyers is connected to globalization.

Giddens can relate to Mittelman’s progression of organized crimes to his own four dimensions of globalization. Gidden’s fourth dimension of globalization in particular relates to industrial development. Giddens quotes, “one of the main features of the globalizing implications of industrialism is the worldwide diffusion of machine technologies”(P.76). The impact of industrialization isn’t just greater production but affects many others aspects on a regular basis. Mittelman would find this a valid point in the sense that more advanced telecommunications and means of transport results in greater criminal activity. Mittelman’s reasoning is much more concrete and easier to grasp while Giddens likes to offer incentive theories that more often than not have four subcomponents in order to explain the theory. Giddens goes on to say “the modern world system is divided into three components, the core, the semi-periphery, and the periphery”(P.68). In contrast, Middleman does not define the modern system as complex but does attribute it with globalization and organized crimes, in particular.

2 thoughts on “The Evolution of Global Organized Crime

  1. I, too, read this article and walked away from it with similar viewpoints that you share here. Although Mittelman uses an ample amount of evidence to back his argument, I agree with you in that Mittelman could have spent more time discussing the breakdown “on how the increase of organized groups and buyers is connected to globalization”.

    Additionally, I find it true that “the impact of industrialization isn’t just greater production but affects many other aspects on a regular basis”. What specifically do you think Giddens would say is affected due to organized crime? Do you believe that some organized crimes should be more so feared than others?

    Like

  2. I also read this article, and feel the same way that you do. I completely agree example you gave “Criminal groups now have access to a much larger network of people and have more sensible means of transporting goods to buyers around the world. People migrating to different areas have also played a large role in the expansion of organized crime. ” Because of this large network of people, those involved in organize crime can expand their operations on a national, sometimes global scale. Additionally, due to the increase in poverty and desperate workers, crime and illegal activity seems a good option to make some money. These different ways to communicate, and easy to access networks of people all illustrate how globalization can be beneficial to organized crime.

    Like

Comments are closed.