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5 Eur. J. Criminology 5 (2008)

handle is hein.journals/eujcrim5 and id is 1 raw text is: 




                                          Volume 5 (1): 5-12: 1477-3708
                                        DOI: 10.1177/1477370807084222 European
                                     Copyright 0 2008 European Society of
                                        Criminology and SAGE Publications
                               Los Angeles, London, New Delhi and Singapore  Criminology
                                             www.sagepublications.com





Introduction to Special Issue

Organized Crime, Terrorism and European
Criminology

Edward   R. Kleemans
Research  and Documentation   Centre (WODC), The Netherlands

This is the first of a series of thematic special issues of European Journal of
Criminology. We  selected organized crime and terrorism as a key topic for
both social science and policy. Over the past two decades, the policy agenda
in many European  countries and in the European Union has been dominated
by concerns about organized crime, recently followed by even greater anguish
over terrorism, triggered by the tragic events in New York (2001), Madrid
(2004) and London  (2005). Yet the abundance of political, public and media
attention is not paralleled by a similar abundance of sound empirical research
on these topics (see, for a review, e.g. Fijnaut and Paoli 2004; Silke 2004; Dorn
et al. 2005; Lum et al. 2006; Neve et al. 2006; Ranstorp 2006).1 For instance,
Lum  et al. (2006: 33) note that, although there has been a proliferation of anti-
terrorism programmes  and policies, along with massive increases in expend-
iture on combating terrorism, we know almost nothing about the effectiveness
of any of these activities.
      Concerns about organized crime are of a relatively recent date. In many
European  countries, organized crime began to be seen as a serious problem
only in the late 1980s or early 1990s. The exception is Italy, where the prob-
lem has  a longer history (e.g. Paoli 2003). Fijnaut and Paoli (2004: 1-18)
demonstrate  that many  European  countries show  a remarkable synchron-
icity in waves of political attention to organized crime and measures for
combating  it. Of course, every country has its own 'triggering events' and
its own  national history, yet several broader  'European'  developments


1 In this introduction I will not attempt to review all the literature on organized crime and ter-
rorism. Much of the relevant research is published in specialist journals such as Crime, Law
and Social Change, Global Crime (succeeding Transnational Organized Crime) and Trends in
Organized Crime. For terrorism research, the major journals are Terrorism and Political
Violence and Studies in Conflict and Terrorism.

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