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CRIMINOLOGY

GLOBALIZATION GIDDENS BOOK RUNWAY WORLD MANUEL IN ROTMAN


BOBA RS2013
TASK: assess the view that the process of globalization has led to changes in both the amount
of crime and the types of crime committed
Introduction
Globalization refers to the process by which societies become increasingly interconnected. Many
sociologists believe that in the last few decades we have entered a new phase of globalization.
This new phase has meant that globalization has speeded up to such an extent that it is no longer
possible for a society to remain insulated from significant events across the globe. The advent of
satellite communication makes it possible for there to be instantaneous communication across the
globe and for national boundaries to be crossed with ease. The result is that events occurring
thousands of miles away can now have an almost immediate impact on us. Globalization has
many causes, some of them are; communications technology, mass media and cheap air travel.
Held et al suggest the globalization of crime has led to an increasing interconnectedness of crime
across national borders; this has brought about the spread of transnational organized crime,
creating new opportunities for crime and new means of committing crime. For example the
computerization of financial markets enables vast amounts of capital to be transferred each day
from one side of the world to the other, with sometime devastating effects on national
economies.
The idea that globalization has produced new opportunities for crime this is supported by Held et
al (1999), who suggest that it has also led to new means of committing crime as well as there

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being new offences to commit. On the surface we may deem this to be due to knowledge of
certain crimes and processes being shared between associates in each country, introducing the
new ways and means to try and gain the upper hand on the out of touch police, however we must
look at the situation in more business like terms: supply and demand. Held et al found that the
western civilizations generally had more demand for certain aspects of crime, such as drugs and
illegal sexual encounters. Not being able to produce enough within their own civilizations, other
parts of the world (notably South America for drugs) come into play. Due to them having the raw
materials, whether it be drug ingredients or ability to kidnap etc. they are able to supply the west
with the products they need, thus building greater connections between the continents
worldwide. Globalization has not only had an effect of physical crime, but also a substantial
impact on cybercrimes. Castells (1998) argues because of globalization there is a globalised
criminal economy worth 1 trillion. This is from different crimes such as arms dealing, human
trafficking, green crime, sex tourism, smuggling illegal immigrants and trafficking in body parts
as well as others.
The global criminal economy has both a demand and supply side, the third world countries fulfill
the demand in the west. For example with drugs and prostitutes, in the third world drug
producing country of Columbia, the poor people rely on producing drugs to supply to the west to
keep them and their families alive this then links to the globalization process. Their main drug
production is cocaine as it is simple to produce, they get high prices for it and it sells better than
other drugs. This means that not only countries in the west that consume the drugs have to be
looked at its also the third world countries that produce these drugs that need to be looked at
also. Taylor (1997) argues globalization has led to changes in the pattern and extent of crime. By
giving free rein to market forces globalization has created bigger problems in inequality and

CRIMINOLOGY

rising crime. Globalization has created crime at both ends of the social spectrum. It has allowed
transnational corporations to switch manufacturing to low wage countries, producing job
insecurity, unemployment and poverty. Deregulation means government has little control over
their own economies, for example to create jobs or raise taxes while state spending on welfare
has declined. Left realists argue increasingly materialistic culture promoted by the global media
portrays success in terms of lifestyle of consumption. All these issues together create insecurity
and more inequality which then encourages people specifically the poor to commit crimes that
they may not have done if they werent put in this situation. The lack of opportunities for these
people means that they lose their self-respect which then means they give up looking for jobs and
turn to illegal employment.
Globalization allows there to be more opportunities for criminals due to deregulation of financial
markets gives people the opportunity move their funds to other countries to avoid tax, this is
more likely a crime to be committed by people earning a substantial amount of money rather
than the poor. Also employers now choose to employ illegal immigrants as they can pay them
less than anyone else and dont have to pay them the minimum wage. Taylors theory would be
helpful if you were wanting to link global trends in the capitalist economy or if you wanted to
look at changes in crime patterns. However it doesnt properly explain how the changes make
people decide on crime and what makes them behave in that way. For example its not all the
poor that turn to crime and also high earning people turn to crime as well they just commit
different ones such as money laundering and avoids having to pay tax on all of their money.
Hobbs and Dunningham came up with the term global organisation this is the idea that even
though globalization has led to people committing crimes on a global scale, criminals still rely on
their local contacts and networks to be able to carry on. For example they would still have to find

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the opportunities to sell drugs in their local area after getting the drugs from third world
countries. Also there is now green crime that has become more relevant that can be linked to
globalization, atmospheric pollution from one country often has devastating effect on another.
Conclusion
Whilst new types of crimes have come up for instance global terrorism and cyber crime have
increased in commonality, it is heavily debated whether the extent of globalization is as large as
they say with some traditionalists or pessimistic globalists arguing that globalization isnt great
and it doesnt exist on the exaggerated level, whilst some argue that it is real, it is happening and
crime is changing and rising because of it. It could be argued that instead of crime rising, the
risks of crime awareness are rising.

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References
American Society of Criminology. (1970). Criminology. Columbus, OH [etc.: American Society
of Criminology [etc..
Taft, D. R., & England, R. W. (1964). Criminology. New York: Macmillan.
Adler, F., Mueller, G. O. W., & Laufer, W. S. (1991). Criminology. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Sutherland, E. H., & Cressey, D. R. (1974). Criminology. Philadelphia: Lippincott.
Cavan, R. S. (1962). Criminology. New York: Crowell.