A Research Agenda for Global Crime
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A Research Agenda for Global Crime

Edited by Tim Hall and Vincenzo Scalia

This multidisciplinary collection of essays by leading international scholars explores many pressing issues related to global crime. The book opens with essays that look across this diverse terrain and then moves on to consider specific areas including organised crime, cyber-crime, war-crimes, terrorism, state and private violence, riots and political protest, prisons, sport and crime and counterfeit goods. The book emphasises the centrality of crime to the contemporary global world and mobilises diverse disciplinary positions to help understand and address this.
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Chapter 3: Faces in the clouds: criminology, epochalism, apophenia and transnational organized crime

Dick Hobbs


Transnational organized crime is a construct that has emerged from a specific set of converging political economic forces. Yet it is rarely critically interrogated. Criminology, with few exceptions, sees it as an identifiable malady to be extinguished by the heroic efforts of administrative criminology. This chapter proceeds to critique the tendency towards epochalism in the study of organized crime and suggests that to overplay the notion of organization is a symptom of apophenia, the human tendency to seek patterns in random information. By focusing on the British experience, accessed through a series of conversations that the author carried out with veteran London-based criminals, it is hoped that a more nuanced view of organized crime might be established.

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