Mahmut Cengiz, Ph.D.
The globalization of Turkish organized crime and the policy response
Abstract: The consequences of the globalization process have created opportunities for traditional organized crime (OC) groups operating on the national level to transform into transnational criminal organizations (TOC). One of these criminal organizations that has globalized successfully is Turkish organized crime. The geographic position of Turkey, increasing demand for illicit trade, immigrants from developing countries in Turkey, Turkish Diaspora communities in different regions of the world, and obstacles to effective law enforcement cooperation are some of the factors that present opportunities for Turkish groups to operate globally. This study has analyzed where and how Turkish OC groups have globalized. Using social network, quantitative and qualitative data analyses, this study aims to examine the globalization of Turkish OC from various perspectives, makes specific policy analyses and recommends new effective policies.
The study finds that OC groups operating in Turkey and Turkish criminal organizations in Europe whose members are composed mainly of Turkish immigrants operate globally by having criminal networks in different regions of the world. TOC groups in Turkey are some of the most dominant criminal organizations operating on the Balkans route. Moreover, TOC groups in Turkey operate in loosely-organized networks of cells, and their group structures fit well the characteristics of transnational criminal groups. Turkish organized crime groups have linkages with transnational criminal organizations operating in the Middle East, and the Caucasus, as well as Central Asian and Western African countries. Turkish organized crime groups are not present in these regions. Immigrants from those regions in Turkey have provided connections between Turkish groups and criminal organizations in their home countries. The main activities of Turkish groups in those regions are to collaborate in drug trafficking, human smuggling and human trafficking. The situation of Turkish groups in Europe is different. They either operate independently or provide connections to criminal groups in Turkey. They have operated mainly in drug trafficking, human smuggling, human trafficking, cigarette smuggling, and arms smuggling, especially dominating high percentages of the heroin trafficking market in Europe. Recently, they have exchanged some kinds of drugs trafficked by other criminal organizations with heroin. They have collaborated with other criminal groups and have laundered a significant amount of crime money in Turkey. Policies on the national and global levels are required against Turkish TOC groups. The capacity of the law enforcement in Turkey should be increased, and obstacles related to effective international cooperation should be eliminated.
ISBN number for this dissertation is 9781124343679
Andrew P. Guth
Curbing Corruption: A Case Study and Examination of the Philippines’ Anticorruption Institutions and Corrupt Exchanges
Abstract: Using the Philippines as a case study, this dissertation provides guidance on how corruption should be examined in societies. Typically, research examines political institutions to find strengths and weaknesses or cultural aspects to understand the why. By researching the institutions and culture together, this dissertation goes beyond the typical suggestions of ‘increased transparency, accountability, and political will’ and examines explicitly how to strengthen community support and political will within a society in order curb corruption.
Layla M. Hashemi
Layla M. Hashemi received her Public Policy PhD Candidate at George Mason University’s Schar School and served as a graduate assistant at the George Mason University’s Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center (TraCCC). Ms. Hashemi received her M.A. from New York University in International Relations and Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies. Her work experience includes positions at various governmental and non-governmental organizations including Forum 2000 (Prague, Czech Republic) and The Journal of Civil Society. She is currently an adjunct professor of Political Science at Montgomery College where she teaches a variety of courses including Comparative Politics, International Conflict Resolution and a course she helped develop on Global Human Rights. Her current research focuses on illicit trade, human trafficking and corruption in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
Tracing Order in Seeming Chaos: Understanding the Informal and Violent Political Order of Karachi
Abstract: Megacities in developing countries reporting high incidence of crime, violence, and informality are perceived in policy literature as places experiencing breakdown of governance that may become future hot spots of instability. Evidence from Karachi, Pakistan, however, suggests that although political parties, individual entrepreneurs, and crime groups are involved in service provision, it does not indicate breakdown of governance. Political parties collaborate with crime groups and various state actors to create local orders. These orders, embedded in social, political and economic institutions create constituencies of popular support. However, the state regulates these orders by withdrawing or extending support and through punitive policies. Yet, while the state is organizing order from the top, an order is forming in response to the needs of an increasing population from the ground-up, highlighting negotiation between state and society. Employing process tracing over a period of thirty-five years (1978-2013), this dissertation presents a systematic comparison of the impact of relationships among political parties, crime groups and state actors on informal provision of water and housing and levying of extortion. Analysis shows that once patterns based on actions come into being, they lead to players learning by observation and practice, contributing to shared expectations or informal rules of the game. These results bear relevance for comparable cases.
Committee: Louise Shelley (Chair), Desmond Arias, Terence Lyons, Janine Wedel, Marvin Weinbaum (external reader)
Nazia Hussain successfully defended her dissertation April 5, 2016.
“Grease” Payments in the Relations Between Regulatory Agencies and Individual Entrepreneurs: The Case of Russia
Abstract: The research explores why the frequency of “grease” payments remains high in the relations between regulatory agencies and individual entrepreneurs despite the recent deregulation reform in Russia. The examination of Russian individual entrepreneurs’ attitudes toward “grease” payments is linked to earlier institutional debates concerning deregulation reforms as the key method to overcome this problem. The research project is designed to explore complementary anti-corruption methods, with a special focus on the role of self-regulatory organizations and collective action by individual entrepreneurs in anti-corruption efforts.
Abstract: Due to the emphasis on major urban areas, studies on the narcotics trade assume that there is very little or no variation in how criminal organizations operate. This dissertation moves beyond this narrow understanding by using multiple cases across Jamaica to examine the structural compositions, and the norms and processes that govern illicit networks. It does so through the concept of crime facilitating networks (CFNs), a new construct that explains how criminals and non-criminals strategically exploit different components of their alliances in order to obtain illegal profits. The study finds that CFN operations vary across geographic contexts and economic sectors.
Committee Members: Louise Shelley, Desmond Arias, Jack Goldstone, and Richard Bennett (External Reader)
Kayyone Marston successfully defended her dissertation on July 8, 2016.
Balil A Wahab, Ph.D.
Oil Federalism in Iraq: Resource Curse, Patronage Networks, and Stability. Case Studies of Baghdad, Kurdistan, and the Advent of ISIS
Committee: Louise Shelley, Chair; Jack Goldstone; Janine Wedel; Jean-Francois Seznec, External Reader, Georgetown University and Johns Hopkins University
Abstract: Petroleum wealth is the lifeblood of Iraq. It has the potential to promote prosperity or become a “resource curse”: a destabilizing force that interrupts the country’s economic and political development. The management and sharing of petroleum wealth has been at the center of economic, political, and security developments in Iraq since the U.S. invasion in 2003. This study analyzes Iraq’s experiment with petrofederalism, the influence of different actors (e.g. international oil companies and ISIS), and the emergence of Iraqi Kurdistan as a petroregion. Using case study method, this dissertation demonstrates how patronage politics exacerbated the resource curse in Iraq and resulted in political and economic instability.
Bilal Wahab successfully defended his dissertation on January 21, 2015. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Salahaddin University in 2002, and his Master of Arts degree from American University in 2007.
A copy of this doctoral dissertation is on reserve at the Arlington Campus Library. Another copy is available for examination from Shannon Williams, School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs, 555 Van Metre Hall in Arlington.
New Armed Groups in Colombia: The Emergence of the Bacrim in the 21st Century
Abstract: In the midst of paramilitary demobilization in Colombia in 2005, reports of new non-state groups operating in the country emerged. These groups, now commonly known as bacrim or bandas criminales (simply “criminal bands”), began filling the void left by the demobilized paramilitaries. Since those initial accounts however, a disagreement has emerged among researchers and the Colombian government as to whether these groups are truly criminal gangs, drug traffickers, third generation paramilitaries or an entirely new type of organized criminal group. This dissertation will examine the emergence of the bacrim in the context of the on-going conflict in Colombia.
Camillo is from Colombia. His research focused on land markets in armed conflict contexts where high criminality and corruption intersect with land administration and rural development. Other research interests include property rights and economic development, property seizure and restitution and, post-conflict state building.
Mr. Pardo also served as Graduate Assistant for TraCCC director, Dr. Louise Shelley, and assisted on her new book discussing the effects of crime and corruption on sustainability.