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The Patterns, Organisation and Governance of Economic Crimes: ESRC Professorial Fellowship


There is a major research gap in the knowledge of the extent, organisation and control of economic crimes. The research gap is paradoxical because for all the rhetoric about transnational crime being the 'dark side of globalisation', and despite frauds being one of the more obvious forms of crime to ‘benefit’ from the opening up of former Communist societies, the ability to commit major crimes at a distance and from taking advantage of differences in laws and their regulation between countries (‘regulatory arbitrage’), very modest attention has been paid by social scientists (e.g. criminologists, economists, geographers, lawyers and political scientists) to the economic crime components of globalisation.  (Globalisation has been discussed in the context of drugs, 'organised crime', terrorism and 'cybercrimes', but the extent to which some or all economic crimes depend on electronic transfers remains taken for granted rather than demonstrated).


Aims of Project

  1. To generate a better conceptualisation of and evidence base for research on the nature, extent and organisation of fraud and the economic crime component of 'organised crime', from local to global;
  2. To review and to try to account for changes and continuities in the control of economic crime, including the array of public-private partnerships that have become an increasingly important feature of 'policing beyond the police' and 'governance beyond the State'.

The project will begin by thinking through the best ways of classifying economic crimes, for example based around forms and impacts of victimisation (since it is victims / individuals, firms and governmental bodies - who primarily identify the event or series of events as 'crime' and/or as 'harm'), taking account of compensation for victims from card issuers, insurers and formal compensation schemes. The use of the nation state as a useful way of counting fraud risks will be examined.  It will then look at how financial crimes are organised, using social network analysis and other methodologies.

Finally, the study will show how businesses, police, governments and international bodies inter-relate in the area of economic crime and its control.  Among the broader themes illuminated will be the extent to which policing bodies and governments respond to business financial crime interests; and the process of economic crime control policy transfer within Europe and globally.





3 years