Briefing Paper

Towards an Assessment of Organised Crime Networks as Parallel Sovereignties

This policy brief uses a relatively new analytical framework to understand organised crime by arguing that organised crime networks should be understood as alternative or parallel sovereigns. The concept of sovereignty is no longer limited to the state, and multiple sovereignties may exist. Using a globalisation theory rooted in the centralisation of the market over the state, the policy brief argues that sovereignty is now de-territorialised and increasingly borderless. As influence and connectivity have become marketable, the linkages among crime, politics and economics have been strenghthened and criminal networks have become increasingly important actors in government.