Organised crime, violence and development

Organised crime ranges from protection economies and extortion rackets to cybercrime, oil theft, money laundering, counterfeiting, maritime piracy and the trafficking and/or smuggling of people, firearms, illicit drugs, and wildlife. It is sometimes associated with violence, but there is no strong correlation between them. Conventional law enforcement and security approaches to tackling organised crime are insufficient, and can sometimes be counterproductive. The development of broader, integrated approaches is key, but remains a work in progress.

About this Topic Guide

This topic guide summarises some of the most rigorous available evidence on the links between organised crime, violence and development. It was written by Markus Schultze-Kraft (Associate Professor, Department of Political Studies, Universidad Icesi, Colombia).

Its production was supported by the UK Government. GSDRC also appreciates the contributions of Desmond Arias, Bianca Jinga, Klaus von Lampe, Catherine Müller and Mark Shaw.

Suggested citation

Schultze-Kraft, M. (2016). Organised crime, violence and development: Topic guide. Birmingham, UK: GSDRC, University of Birmingham.