One of the most disconcerting aspects of the contemporary study of ‘organised crime’ involves ‘the apparent discrepancy between the certainty with which the concept is used in public discourse and the weak underlying knowledge base’ on the one hand (von Lampe, 2008, p. 21; von Lampe, 2009), and the realisation that the threat of ‘organised crime’ is used instrumentally to legitimise more intensive and intrusive law enforcement measures on the other hand (e.g. Sheptycki, 2003; van Duyne, 2003). It may certainly be the case that the ‘organised crime’ hype is used by political centres and law en-forcement to their own purposes at home or abroad and that it makes it easier for authorities to intro-duce policies that the public would have difficulties to accept otherwise (Naylor, 2004). Similarly, concepts of moral entrepreneurship and moral panics may be indeed very useful in articulating expla-nations about how certain notions about ‘organised crime’ and policy responses are elevated to inter-national orthodoxy (Andreas & Nadelmann, 2006). What concerns us in this paper is exactly the ques-tion of the social purpose of this discrepancy within our familiar Greek context.
|The Art of Crime
|Published - May 2011