Some insights on the link between terrorism, organised crime and 'new wars'

Carla Monteleone, Raul Caruso, Andrea Locatelli

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Purpose - The purpose of this chapter is to investigate on the relationship between terrorism, criminal organisations, and the so-called 'new wars'. Methodology/approach - Review of the existing literature on the 'new wars' and on the terrorism-crime nexus; estimate of the financial revenues gained by terrorist groups engaged in illicit activities. Findings -Terrorist and criminal groups can develop several forms of collaboration. Whether terrorists convert to criminal activities or not depends on a variety of factors, both internal and external. In some cases these links are occasional and opportunistic, associated with the possibility of exploiting the availability of specialised competences in a stateless environment, in other cases the warring parties are directly involved and create stable relationships as a way to finance their war activities. Research limitations/implications - Lack of reliable data limits a comprehensive analysis. Nevertheless, the study has important consequences for designing and adopting more effective policies regarding terrorism, organised crime, as well as conflict resolution. Originality/value of the chapter - The study presents an overview of different strands of the literature on terrorism; a discussion is articulated on the interplay between 'new wars' and the terror-crime connection. Potentially fruitful avenues of investigation are suggested for future research. Copyright © 2014 by Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnderstanding Terrorism: A Socio-Economic Perspective
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Publication series


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Strategy and Management

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