The Problem of the Definition of Organized Crime

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Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi state university, Faculty of social and political sciences
By nature, organized crime is a complex phenomenon and has legal, economic, psychological, social and political aspects. Consequently, organized crime requires an interdisciplinary approach. Despite the fact, that there are many criminological definitions of organized crime, the political science definition is absent of academic literature and the topic of organized crime in political science is less analyzed. At the same time, politicians (especially in weak democracies) are often involved in scandals, where politics, organized crime and corruption are overlapped. On one hand, any influential mafia style organization seeks to be closely linked to politics and even penetrate into politics. On the other hand, politicians use organized crime for their purposes, for example to falsify elections. But that does not mean that we deal with politically motivated crime. The interest of the mafia style organized crime participation in politics is aimed only to ensure criminal business security and profit growth. It is acknowledged in special literature on organized crime, that a crime can be committed by an organized group that has political and ideological motivation instead of profit. But such type of crime is not given the qualification of an organized crime, which is not logical and harmful in practical terms. For example, the Nuremberg process of 1945-46, have recognized the Nazi leaders as international criminals - not as the prisoners of war - and the Nazi organizations were recognized as criminal organizations. The definition of organized crime is of theoretical and practical importance. On one hand, it defines the quality and direction of research, and on the other hand, security, prosecution, and investigation in a country. Usually, most definitions consider organized crime as profit motivated criminal organizations such as the Sicilian Mafia, Ndrangetta, Camorra, Cacra Corona Unita, Triads, Yakuza, Mexican Cartels, Colombian Mafia, Outlaw Motorcycle Club “Hells Angels”, Institute of Thieves in Law, etc. As a result, politically motivated crimes, which are committed by leaders of radical and extremist political parties or terrorist organizations are not qualified as forms of organized crime, and in many cases it has practical consequences when the arrested politicians and terrorist activists position themselves not as criminals but as fighters for justice. In this presentation the author divides organized crime in two classes – professional organized crime and political organized crime. The first one represents the Mafia style profit oriented criminal activities and the second one – politically motivated crimes which are committed by leaders and members of political parties, states or terrorist organizations. An analytical review of different definitions of organized crime in academic publications and by international organizations is given in the presentation.
Definitions, Politics, Professional organized crime, Political organized crime, Mafia, Political parties, State, Terrorist organizations, დეფინიციები, პოლიტიკა, პროფესიული ორგანიზებული დანაშაული, პოლიტიკური ორგანიზებული დანაშაული, მაფია, პოლიტიკური პარტიები, სახელმწიფო, ტერორისტული ორგანიზაციები