***** To join INSNA, visit http://www.sfu.ca/~insna/ *****
Exactly. Well said. Sometimes we get too caught up with the analytical tools
we are interested in without having a firm grasp of the theoretical bases
for the questions we are asking. If we are using a network approach to
study crime we are assuming a level of organization and specificity that
matches the media's portrayal of crime and "official" stats from the FBI,
but which may fall short of the way offending behavior has been
characterized through most -but, not all- independent (meaning
non-governmental) empirical research.
University of Arizona
----- Original Message -----
From: "Elin Waring" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, August 04, 2004 7:42 PM
Subject: Re: organized criminal activity and terrorist individuals or groups
> ***** To join INSNA, visit http://www.sfu.ca/~insna/ *****
> The issue with most organized crime and terrorist network analysis, as has
> already been pointed out, is that the data that are available tend to
> reflect the story that particular actors, usually prosecutors or
> reporters, want to tell. So newspaper reports tend to produce small
> networks with dramatic connections often to famous people. Court records
> produce discrete and highly structured small networks that make for good
> cases. If the OC people from the FBI are involved the networks will almost
> inevitably look like 5 hierarchical families. If you get less processed
> data (such as phone calls or surveillence reports), the world will look
> more messy and less structured. Almost everyone will end up in one big
> component (which is of course interesting) but it will look more like the
> regular crime networks.
> I personally think that networks are the way to look at the organization
> of crime, and many SNA tools are helpful for this, but I would be very,
> very cautious. Most criminals, by the way, are not specialists, so in this
> as in everything else it may another example of why organized crime is not
> a particularly useful concept.
> Elin Waring, "Conceptualizing Co-offending: A Network Form of
> Organization," in Elin Waring and David Weisburd, editors, Crime and
> Social Organization: Advances in Criminological Theory Volume
> 10. Transactions Publishers, 2002.
> James Finckenauer and Elin Waring, "Russian Emigre Crime in the
> U.S.: Organized Crime or Crime That is Organized?," Transnational
> Organized Crime, 1996. Reprinted in Phil Williams, editor, Russian
> Organized Crime: The New Threat? London: Frank Cass, 1997
> James O. Finckenauer and Elin Waring, Russian Mafia in America: Crime,
> Immigration, and Culture, Northeastern University Press, 1998.
> Elin Waring
> Department of Sociology and Social Work
> Lehman College
> 250 Bedford Park Boulevard West
> Bronx NY 10468
> [log in to unmask]
> On Tue, 3 Aug 2004, Bill Richards wrote:
> > Date: Tue, 3 Aug 2004 10:40:06 -0700
> > From: Bill Richards <[log in to unmask]>
> > To: [log in to unmask]
> > Subject: organized criminal activity and terrorist individuals or groups
> > ***** To join INSNA, visit http://www.sfu.ca/~insna/ *****
> > Frank Shanty <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > I am a doctoral student preparing my research proposal on the links
between organized criminal activity (i.e. drug trafficking and terrorist
organizations. My research will attempt to determine if patterns in the data
show a direct relationship or points/patterns of convergence). My research
design will be a mixed-methods approach (i.e., quantitative global
relational database of suspected drug trafficking and distribution networks)
and qualitative (i.e., two country case studies: Afghanistan and Myanmar).
> > Although I am very new to SNA my thinking at this point leads me to
believe that social network methods of analysis MAY be the best approach to
evaluate possible points of intersection between organized criminals
(transnational drug traffickers) and terrorist individuals or groups. But to
be quite honest with you I am not sure given the clandestine nature of the
activity/relationships I am investigating.
> > Question: Am I completely off base?
> > I thank you for your time and assistance.
> > Best Regards,
> > Frank Shanty
> > _____________________________________________________________________
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