Activities, functions, and linkages

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemChapter


It is time we explored the question that Keefè (The Geography of Badness: Mapping the Hubs of the Illicit Global Economy. In Convergence: Illicit Networks and National Security in the Age of Globalization, ed. Michael Miklaucic and Jacqueline Brewer. Washington, DC: National Defense University Press, 2013: 99) has urged those studying the illicit economy to pursue: how do black spots “act as engines and enablers of illicit global commerce”? Ideally, by identifying, mapping, and monitoring black spots, we can begin to link activities, regions, and organizations to supply chains and markets. We can discover where production, transportation, and distribution occur for a variety of activities as well as identify those geopolitical areas that play multiple roles and appear to function as hubs in illicit supply chains. In the process we gain “insights into how territoriality and transnationality are negotiated in everyday illicit practices” and how those engaged in transnational criminal activities “scale the world they live in” (Abraham and van Schendel, Introduction. In Illicit Flows and Criminal Things: States, Borders, and the Other Side of Globalization, ed. Willem van Schendel and Itty Abraham. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2005: 49). We can begin to understand how transnational crime has become “one of the world’s most sophisticated and profitable businesses” (Costa, Preface. In The Globalization of Crime: A Transnational Organized Crime Threat Assessment. Vienna: UNODC, 2010: ii). And we can lay the groundwork for discovering linkages among the black spots and the black spots networks necessary for such businesses to be successful.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInternational Political Economy Series
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages29
StatePublished - 2020

Publication series

NameInternational Political Economy Series
ISSN (Print)2662-2483
ISSN (Electronic)2662-2491

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Economics, Econometrics and Finance
  • Political Science and International Relations


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