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Harold Trinkunas

This chapter examines the threats posed by transnational crime to national security. Globalization and other international trends may have the unintended consequence of fostering the development of transnational crime. Initial state and international responses to transnational crime in the 1980s were driven in large part by the U.S. war on drugs. After providing an overview of relevant definitions and key concepts, particularly with respect to international crime and organized crime, the chapter considers both the reasons for and the nature of the increase in transnational crime since the end of the Cold War. It then looks at debates over the strength and nature of the ‘nexus’ between transnational crime and terrorism. It concludes by analysing how the government response to transnational crime has evolved over time, focusing on increased coordination and securitization between nations.


Nathan P. Jones

This chapter defines transnational crime and other key concepts. It first defines transnational crime and transnational criminal organizations (TCOs). It covers the rise of transnational crime with a focus on TCOs, their ‘new’ (networks) and ‘old’ (markets and hierarchies) organizational forms, and other useful concepts in the study of transnational crime. Second, it discusses the crime–terror debates, as criminal groups often utilize political violence for their profit-seeking ends, and terror groups use criminal activities for fundraising. It then moves on to explore the relationship between transnational organized crime (TOC) and the state, and the implications for global and national security of states. It provides a case study of TCOs in Mexico that illustrates many of the trends in organized crime since the end of the Cold War to the present. Finally, the chapter addresses how the international community has combatted transnational criminal actors as they become more powerful and increasingly diversify their revenue streams.


26. Guatemala  

Enduring Underdevelopment and Insecurity

Rachel Sieder

This chapter examines Guatemala’s underdevelopment in the context of social, economic, cultural, and political rights. It first provides an introduction to poverty and multiple inequalities in Guatemala before discussing patterns of state formation in the country. It then considers the 1996 peace accords, which represented an attempt to reverse historical trends, to ‘engineer development’, and to secure the human rights of all Guatemalans. It also explores human security and development in Guatemala and identifies the main contemporary causes of the country’s persistent underdevelopment: a patrimonialist and predatory state underpinned by a strong, conservative private sector, an extremely weak party system, the continued influence of active and retired members of the armed forces in politics, entrenched counterinsurgency logics, and the increasing presence of transnational organized crime.


23. Mexico  

Transition to Civil War Democracy

Andreas Schedler

This chapter examines Mexico’s gradual and largely peaceful transition to democracy, followed by a sudden descent into civil war. In the closing decades of the twentieth century, Mexico’s major challenge was political democratization. Today, it is organized criminal violence. Vicente Fox’s victory in the presidential elections of 2000 ended more than seventy years of hegemonic party rule. However, a civil war soon broke out, sparking a pandemic escalation of violence related to organized crime. The chapter first traces the history of Mexico from its independence in 1821 to the Mexican Revolution of 1910–1920 before discussing the foundations of electoral authoritarianism in the country. It then considers the structural bases of regime change in Mexico, along with the process of democratization by elections. It concludes by analysing why a civil war broke out in Mexico following its transition to democracy.


Gary M. Shiffman

This chapter examines the concept of economic security as a framework for analysing and countering organized violence. It first provides a brief historical overview of the economic science of security and applies economic theory to Security Studies. Through various case studies, this approach allows the reader to understand how states leverage traditional economic tools to influence, alter, and deter another actor’s behaviour. The chapter considers three categories of organized violence: warfare, crime, and insurgency. It shows that the various decision makers involved in combating organized violence have different goals and face different constraints. It also describes five vectors of economic incentives: goals, resource constraints, institutional constraints, information, and time. Finally, it discusses four economic tools of security policy: sanctions, trade, finance, and aid.


Gary M. Shiffman

This chapter provides an economic framework for analysing and countering organized violence. Looking closely at economics as a scientific approach to understanding human behaviour provides insight into the real-life of criminals, terrorists, and insurgents. Individuals make decisions under conditions of scarcity, and markets, firms, and entrepreneurs organize much of human behaviour. Understanding these dynamics can inform how policy-makers, analysts, and operators promote security.


Edited by Peter Burnell, Vicky Randall, and Lise Rakner

Politics in the Developing World provides an introduction to politics in the developing world. This fifth edition has been updated to address topical issues and themes, including refugee movements; the rise of the so-called Islamic State; organized crime; gender; the role of new forms of communication in political mobilization; and the replacement of Millennium Development Goals by Sustainable Development Goals. The first four sections of the volume explore the theoretical approaches, the changing nature and role of the state, and the major policy issues that confront all developing countries. The final sections set out a diverse range of country case studies, representing all the main geographical regions.