Edited by Felia Allum and Stan Gilmour
Chapter 5: Western Balkans: organised crime, political corruption and oligarchs
This chapter illustrates how the weak economic and political institutions in the post-Communist Western Balkan region, among other factors, gave rise to a sophisticated organised crime_political nexus in Albania and Serbia. Two prominent organised crime_political corruption cases from Albania and Serbia are discussed in order to highlight the dynamic relationship between politics and organised crime. The cases exemplify the infiltration mechanisms of organised crime groups, and the level of involvement of state officials; the chapter also discusses the nature of the relationship between organised crime offenders and politicians in the selected countries, and points to the existence of an ‘oligarchs and clans’ type of political corruption. This is one of the most dangerous forms of corruption,which does not allow for democratic processes and the rule of law to take place in the region. This chapter also explains why and how high levels of political corruption have led to a situation of ‘state capture’, where it is difficult to say who is a politician and who is an entrepreneur or criminal.
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