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Danger - Appraising the dangerousness of organized crime (DANGER)

Research project TA/00/20 (Research action TA)


Persons :

  • Prof. dr.  VANDER BEKEN Tom - Universiteit Gent (RUG)
    Coordinator of the project
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 1/4/2008-31/8/2011
  • Dr.  PAOLI Letizia - Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (K.U.Leuven)
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 1/4/2008-31/8/2011

Description :

I. Problem definition

Under the influence of globalization the public, as well as the governmental, concern about crime has changed. The image of a local and 'small' perpetrator has changed into that of an international mobile person, group, network or even a company which commits crime. Nowadays, these new perpetrators are often referred to as committers of 'transnational organized crime'. It is, however, unclear to what extent this new image corresponds with reality – which could lead to improper policies – and to what extent the dangers linked to crime have evolved into a different, more severe threat. This question can be answered in only one way: to be able to ground future policies on a solid empirical basis, it is necessary to collect data on the different kinds of danger that modern forms of criminal behavior may pose towards citizens, the economy and the state.


II. Objectives

This project has two main objectives. First, a new integrated methodological kit must be developed which can be used to collect reliable data on the dangers of organized crime. The second objective is to test this methodological kit in Belgium.
The project is supervised by the two researchers (Prof. dr. Tom Vander Beken and Prof. dr. Letizia Paoli) working for the two research institutes IRCP – Institute for international Research on Criminal Policy (Ghent University) and LINC – Leuven Institute for Criminology (Catholic University of Louvain). Additional support and further international experience is delivered by two recognized criminologists, namely Prof. dr. Henk van de Bunt of the Netherlands and Dr. Nicholas Dorn of Great Britain.
More specifically, the goal of this project is to combine the two most promising and feasible approaches to organized crime into one workable methodology process. This new approach will then be tested and refined in a systematic assessment of the dangers of organized crime in Belgium. The research will focus on four different sectors of business: transport, catering, import-export, and the political sphere in relation to the perpetrators or groups who exploit their vulnerability.

The first approach emphasizes the PERPETRATORS – not only the individuals, but also the groups or networks they form (threat). The threat posed by these organized crime groups will be assessed by scrutinizing and appraising their organization and activities. It will examine their illegal (economic) activities, as well as their intentions and the possibilities they have to infiltrate and corrupt legitimate markets and political strata.

The second approach focuses on criminal opportunities in the ENVIRONMENT and aims to detect potential (dangerous) weaknesses within society that might generate or facilitate criminal behavior (vulnerability studies).

The third phase will integrate both approaches to maximize the complimentary aspects of the two and the added value they bring to the method. In this way it shall be sought to find a balanced and coherent answer to the question of the dangers presented by organized crime.


Coordinator: Prof. dr. Tom Vander Beken (UGent, department criminal law and crminology, IRCP)

Promotors: Prof. dr. Tom Vander Beken (UGent, department criminal law and crminology, IRCP), Prof. dr. Letizia Paoli (KU Leuven, department criminal law and crminology, LINC)

Foreign researchers: Prof. dr. Henk van de Bunt (Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam), Dr. Nicholas Dorn (independent researcher)

Researchers: Noël Klima (UGent, department criminal law and criminology, IRCP), Andries Zoutendijk (KU Leuven, department criminal law and criminology, LINC)


Documentation :

Estimation du danger du crime organisé : synthèse    Bruxelles : Politique scientifique fédérale, 2011 (SP2409)
[To download

Het inschatten van de gevaarlijkheid van georganiseerde criminaliteit : synthese    Brussel : Federaal Wetenschapsbeleid, 2011 (SP2410)
[To download

Appraising the Dangerousness of organised Crime: summary    Brussels : Federal Science Policy, 2011 (SP2411)
[To download

Het inschatten van de gevaarlijkheid van georganiseerde criminaliteit (DANGER) : eindrapport  Vander Beken, Tom - Paoli, Letizia - Zoutendijk, Andries ... et al  Gent : Academia Press, 2012 (SP2644)
[To download

Het inschatten van de gevaarlijkheid van georganiseerde criminaliteit (DANGER) : rapport final  Vander Beken, Tom - Paoli, Letizia - Zoutendijk, Andries ... et al  Gent : Academia Press, 2012 (SP2645)
[To download

Het inschatten van de gevaarlijkheid van georganiseerde criminaliteit (DANGER) : final report  Vander Beken, Tom - Paoli, Letizia - Zoutendijk, Andries ... et al  Gent : Academia Press, 2012 (SP2646)
[To download

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