1 Eur. J.L. Reform 399 (1999)
Globalization, Criminogenic Asymmetries and Economic Crime

handle is hein.journals/ejlr1 and id is 407 raw text is: Globalization, Criminogenic Asymmetries and
Economic Crime
Nikos Passas*
A. Introduction
We are inundated by press reports and official statements on the danger of
transnational crimes, ranging from drug trafficking, terrorism and political corruption
to car theft, the smuggling of aliens, nuclear materials and money laundering. The
issue is high on the agenda whenever Heads of States meet. Topical as it has become,
the problem is hardly new. Sophisticated criminals have always been able to transcend
national borders. Governments, corporations, white-collar professionals, as well as
illegal enterprises and professional crooks have been committing transnational
offences for ages. There is a plethora of documented cross-border crimes, such as
piracy, arms trafficking, genocide, environmental pollution and the ruthless
exploitation of Third World countries by multinational corporations.'
What is new in the 1990s, however, is the intense official concern about
transnational crime. Just about every international and regional agency has been
proposing and implementing policy initiatives and concrete measures. Some of these
proposals are quite controversial and risky, as they involve the merging of law
Nikos Passas, Philadelphia. The author of this article would like to acknowledge the
financial support of Temple University, which allowed him to concentrate exclusively on
his research activities during a sabbatical leave.
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University of Pennsylvania Press, 1994); A.A. Block, Masters of Paradise: Organized
Crime and the Internal Revenue Service in the Bahamas (New Brunswick NJ, Transaction
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and Kegan Paul 1984); W.J. Chambliss, On the Take: From Petty Crooks to Presidents
(Bloomington, Indiana University Press 1988, 2nd ed.); M.B. Clinard, Corporate
Corruption: The Abuse of Power (New York, Praeger 1990); R. Falk, 'Nuremberg: Past,
Present, and Future' in (1971) 80 Yale Law Journal, at pp. 1501-1528; A. Labrousse, La
Drogue, L'Argent et les Armes (Paris, Fayard 1991); R.J. Michalowski and R.C. Kramer,
'The Space Between Laws: The Problem of Corporate Crime in a Transnational Context' in
(1987) 34 Social Problems 1, at pp. 34-53 reprinted in N. Passas, (ed.), Transnational Crime
(Aldershot, Dartmouth 1998).
European Journal of Law Reform, Vol. 1, No. 4
© Kluwer Law International 1999.

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