Peace Organizations and Organized Crime

August 03, 2012 - 10:14am

In recent years, organised crime has received increased attention as a threat to international security and stability, and it has become a considerable concern for national and international decision-makers. Scholars and practitioners have increasingly pointed to the connection between transnational organised crime and state fragility, armed conflict and terrorism, and have highlighted the complex and problematic relationships between trafficking in arms, human beings and drugs, as well as between corruption and state failure.

However, relatively little attention has been paid to the challenges organised crime poses to international peace efforts. While the peacekeepers’ role in responding to (and occasionally implication in) human trafficking has received particular attention, there have been only isolated attempts to think more systematically about the complex implications of the presence of organised crime for peace operations.

Drawn from a seminar jointly convened by the International Peace Institute and the Geneva Centre for Security Policy, this paper explores the relationship between organized crime and international peace operations al hitherto largely neglected area of both scholarly and practitioner-led discourse. Cockayne and Pfister examine organized crime as a spoiler to peace operations and, in so doing, confront a cross-section of the issues it presents.