Introduction: Rethinking the Relationship Between Peace Operations and Organized Crime

Peace operations are increasingly on the front line in the international community’s fight against organized crime. In venues as diverse as Afghanistan, the Balkans, Haiti, Iraq and West Africa, multiple international interventions have struggled with a variety of protection rackets, corruption and trafficking in a wide range of licit and illicit commodities: guns, drugs, oil, cars, diamonds, timber – and human beings. This introduction to the Special Issue on peace operations and organized crime discusses the concept of ‘organized crime’ as a label, and suggests ways of differentiating organized crime groups on the basis of their social governance roles, resources and strategies towards authority structures – such as peace operations.

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