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  • Author or Editor: Nicholas Lord x
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Social network analysis (SNA) is an approach concerned with analysing networks of relations and interactions among a defined set of actors. In recent years, SNA has become known as a useful tool for analysing a wide range of criminal networks, including networks of serious financial crime. However, using SNA in the study of crime is hindered by the aim of actors involved in these to conceal their interactions, making data collection complicated. These complications stem from issues with data availability, validity and reliability. To tackle these issues, we first introduce a framework for thinking about six aspects of network data collection: nodes, ties, attributes, levels, dynamics and context. In the light of this framework, we subsequently review three types of data sources usable for analysing financial crime networks in the context of the United Kingdom. These data sources are documents accompanying Deferred Prosecution Agreements, enforcement case files and commercial transaction data. We illustrate the contents of each of these data sources together with their potential for extracting network data and the types of conclusions that can be drawn through analysing them. These data sources share common problems in being of a secondary non-scientific nature and being prone to contain missing information. In conclusion, we illustrate further uses of SNA and possible extensions of the introduced data sources to other types of criminal networks and jurisdictions beyond the United Kingdom.

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Exploring the Nature of European Realities

From corporate corruption and the facilitation of money laundering, to food fraud and labour exploitation, European citizens continue to be confronted by serious corporate and white-collar crimes.

Presenting an original series of provocative essays, this book offers a European framing of white-collar crime. Experts from different countries foreground what is unique, innovative or different about white-collar and corporate crimes that are so strongly connected to Europe, including the tensions that exist within and between the nation-states of Europe, and within the institutions of the European region.

This European voice provides an original contribution to discourses surrounding a form of crime which is underrepresented in current criminological literature.

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This collection of chapters is about analyzing what is distinctly European about the nature of white-collar and corporate crimes in Europe. The chapters in the book put forward European perspectives on white-collar and corporate crimes, exploring the dynamics and tensions related to white-collar crimes that exist within and between the nation-states of Europe, and with the institutions of the European region. By speaking to the common theme of what is ‘European’ about the realities of white-collar crimes in Europe, the chapters encourage and engage in cross-European dialogue and collaboration as they seek to put forward key provocations about how we can better understand and examine the intricacies of associated offending and its control.

While having been coined in North American criminology, the origins of the concepts of white-collar and corporate crime lie in European criminology, in the work of Willem Bonger (1905; see also Hebberecht, 2015). These concepts are themselves contested and ambiguous, and this collection reflects the diversity of framings that exist in the academic literature, though more often than not the chapters foreground the duplicitous behaviours of business and political ‘elites’, including individuals and organizations, who often operate at the transnational level and in some way abuse their occupational and organizational positions while presenting an ostensibly legitimate exterior to society more widely. And, even without academic definition and conceptualization, in modern history, white-collar crime is a European ‘invention’, intrinsically linked to the introduction of the modern corporation, such as the Dutch East India Company and the British East India Company (Huisman et al, 2015).

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The significance of ‘corruption’ in Europe has arisen both through the work of established scientific studies and scholarship seeking to understand its nature, scope, extent and control, and as a priority of state and non-state organizations seeking to reshape anti-corruption policy and practice within individual nation-states and the European Union (EU) more generally. Corruption is variously defined in social science and policy, but the European Commission (EC), in line with the international anti-corruption agenda, defines the concept as ‘the abuse of power for private gain’ (European Commission, nd). The EC suggests corruption takes many forms, including bribery, trading in influence, abuse of functions alongside nepotism, conflicts of interest and revolving doors between the public and the private sectors. However, the EC is not in a position to impose a common legal definition on what (other than fraud against the EU) remains a national issue for each member and non-member state. Given the cultural and legal diversity across the European region, this chapter poses the question: how and what do we know about ‘corruption’, domestically and transnationally, across Europe? This question inevitably encourages thinking about theory, methodology and evidence in social scientific inquiry and more specifically the nature of the comparative method to gain insight into corruption at universal, idiographic and integrated levels. To inform this debate, we outline in brief what we see as the four main research traditions in criminological research in Europe (surveys, experiments and modelling studies; qualitative studies; national case studies; and analyses of specific cases of corruption) that have sought to empirically investigate, and contribute to knowledge on, corruption.

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