Handbook of Transnational Environmental Crime
Show Less

Handbook of Transnational Environmental Crime

Edited by Lorraine Elliott and William H. Schaedla

Crimes associated with the illegal trade in wildlife, timber and fish stocks, pollutants and waste have become increasingly transnational, organized and serious. They warrant attention because of their environmental consequences, their human toll, their impacts on the rule of law and good governance, and their links with violence, corruption and a range of crossover crimes. This ground-breaking, multi-disciplinary Handbook brings together leading scholars and practitioners to examine key sectors in transnational environmental crime and to explore its most significant conceptual, operational and enforcement challenges.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 2: Criminal networks and illicit chains of custody in transnational environmental crime

Lorraine Elliott


This chapter investigates contemporary literatures about the nature and characteristics of criminal networks involved in transnational environmental crime (TEC). In this context, the purpose of the chapter is to offer some thoughts about the kinds of analytical tools that can assist in making sense of the networked dimensions of transnational environmental crime. The focus here is on logistic trails, illicit chains of custody, and networks as entrepreneurial structures for managing so-called black trade in environmental commodities and wastes. This network or chain of custody approach is a response to three trends. First it responds to claims within the relevant communities of practice that networks have become an enduring feature of the illegal transnational and global trade in wildlife, timber, wastes and pollutants. Second, it is motivated by Edwards and Gill’s (2002, p. 204, emphasis added) recommendation that ‘switching the focus of research from a . . . preoccupation with the attributes of . . . criminality to the relationships of exchange between traders [and] markets’ will make it possible to identify both ‘a continuum of licit–illicit markets and corresponding interventions directed at their regulation’. Third, it takes account of the influence of various theoretical approaches to network analysis in academic fields of endeavour as apparently disparate as criminology, global value chain analysis, and global governance. In light of these three factors, it follows that insights from network analysis, and the analysis of criminal networks in particular, could prove useful for helping us to understand how illegal chains of custody and profit function in the field of transnational environmental crime, how they are sustained and where their strengths and weaknesses lie.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information

or login to access all content.