Examining The Challenges Faced In Criminology Criminology Essay

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The progressive global nature of crime and justice points to a need to move beyond the nation state as the starting point for criminology. Criminologists are already building theories that go beyond the confines of the modern state for example in relation to transnational policing, transnational crime and supranational forms of criminal justice. The reasons that have led the need to move beyond the state territorial principle are globalisation and the increase of transnational crime. The study of transnational crime and justice brings into question several of the conceptual dualisms associated with criminology, and examples of these dualisms that are challenged in transnational criminology will be explored. In order to answer this question, an illustration will be made to answer it and using a contemporary topic such as war on drugs, which was the first declared war on transnational crime. An analysis will be made to recognise the nature of the crime and analyse the international response to the crime.

Globalisation is a worldwide phenomenon, information technology, alongside many other forms of technology are expanding and growing rapidly. Trade is expanding globally and so is the flow of private capital and investment. Interdependencies are growing in all aspects of our lives and this growth enables real possibilities to achieve economic prosperity and spread political freedom and promote peace. On the other hand they are producing powerful forces of social fragmentation, creating critical vulnerabilities and planting seeds of violence and conflict. Economic crisis extend across state borders and are producing global hardships. All these aspects mentioned are referred to as globalisation and all the security implications. Many aspects of Globalization now combine to increase the dangers of a variety of transnational threats from cyber attacks, ethnic violence, drug trafficking and Environmental crime (Thachuk, 2007)

Due to globalisation there is now an increase in transnational crime it has been argued that criminology needs to move beyond the state territorial principle. The state territorial principle is a principle of public international law which is by the sovereign state that can prosecute criminal offences that are committed within their borders. This principle also bans other states from exercising jurisdictions beyond its borders. Globalisation has extensively been accredited with the rise in transnational crime as society becomes a smaller place with the development of this so called 'global village' that exists in modern day society. Global criminology acknowledges that states react differently towards citizens and non-citizens within its territory and this is becoming increasingly significant in the production of both criminality and of justice (Pickering & Weber, 2006). Globalisation has no uncertain terms led to dramatic increase in transnational crime which is known as something derived through the emergence of globalisation. As Transnational criminology is expanding so does the need for criminology. Transnational crime undermines the sovereignty of the nation state, it also shows no respect for state borders as these transnational crimes weaken border control and so violates the principle of state sovereignty (Thachuk, 2007).

Transnational crime and justice brings into question several of the conceptual dualisms that are associated with criminology. It questions the distinction made between internal and external notions of security, it focuses instead on the growing significance of borderless threats and borderless responses. An example of this is increasing co-operation between EU nations in policing and punishment, for example through Europol, Frontex, the European Arrest warrant and the Schengen and Dublin agreements. There are many other criminological dualisms which are challenged in transnational criminology for example war on immigration, War on Terror, war on sex trafficking and lastly war on drugs.

Drug trafficking is a global illegal trade involving the manufacturing, distribution and sale of substances that are subject to drug prohibition laws, it is a contemporary topic which is challenged in transnational criminology. There are three major international drug control treaties, the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961, the Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971, and the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988 (UNDOC). An important purpose of the first two treaties is to codify internationally applicable control measures so that the availability of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances for medical and scientific purposes, and to prevent their diversion into illicit channels. They also include general provisions on illegal drug trafficking and drug abuse.

The war on drugs was and still is a global war, it must be noted that the 'war on drugs' was also the first was on transnational crime. Drug trafficking has been acted in response to around the world by punishments and even military or paramilitary police responses. It relies mainly on transnational police and customs cooperation's and international military interventions. Most notable drug trafficking incidents occurred in Southern and Northern America which was known as the 'cocaine trail' (Aas, 2007). The trade in illicit drugs is one of the largest global markets and is common in war torn countries and in some cases pose a threat to sovereignty of nation states.

The US has been at the forefront of drug related international policies as the drug trade is a source used as a financial fuel to terrorism. Terrorism is a global problem also and to eliminate this problem is by stopping the flow of drugs at all means by transnational policing. The reasoning behind the war on drugs was the notion that danger should be prevented on a global scale by forging a number of international treaties amongst the UN, the EU, Interpol, and cooperation's from various NGOs (Aas, 2007). The war on drugs made a big impact on western penal systems. In the US around 20 per cent of prisoners are imprisoned due to drug offences. A quarter of the world's prison population has been estimated to be imprisoned to due to a relation to illegal drugs. Global development and poverty seem to be the root cause of the unstoppable drug flow. The supply source for this huge underground economy is now concentrated in three areas, Afghanistan, South-East Asia (mostly Myanmar) and Latin America (Mexico and Colombia). Afghanistan stands out the most from the group as it is 90 per cent of the of the worlds heroin production and is one of the poorest countries in the world. According to US Government reports, the majority of the heroin consumed in the country comes from Latin America and Mexico. The rest is trafficked from Afghanistan via Europe and Africa (UNODC, 2010). Like the case of immigration and terrorism, the security problems that the West question development for the developing world. The global order is marked by the internal/external security interdependence, however also by development/security interdependence (Human Security report, 2005).

The main situation is that more than 420 million containers move around the globe by sea every year, transporting 90 per cent of the world's cargo. Most of these carry licit goods, however some of these containers are used to smuggle drugs. There are many sophisticated and clever methods to hide the drugs, also diverse routings adopted by illegal drug traffickers invariably make successful interdiction difficult. There are many challenges when enforcing law at sea ports which include the lack of adequate resources, inter agency mistrust and other factors which are purposefully exploited by criminal organizations. The situation creates a very real and serious threat to the security of the international trade supply chain that is critical for sustainable development (UNODC, 2010) the cpncern here is that drug traffickers are constantly finding new ways to smuggle drugs, therefore meaning that drug trafficking is constantly changing, and so in terms of handling the matter under the state territorial principle it would merely be impossible to tackle this situation without international cooperation as drug trafficking is a global problem and can cause many other problems.

A global heroin seizure reached to 73.7 metric tons being a record level in 2008. 39 per cent of the global total of the heroin was held in the Middle East and South West Asia, 24 percent in South East Europe and 10 per cent in Western and Central Europe. Over the period 2006-2008 there was a global increase in heroin seizures which was driven mainly by continued burgeoning seizures in the Islamic Republic of Iran and Turkey. In 2008, the Islamic Republic of Iran and Turkey had accounted for more than half of the global heroin seizures. Cocaine is usually transported from Columbia to Mexico or Central America by sea and then taken further by land to the United States and Canada for the North America market. For Europe, Cocaine is trafficked mainly by sea in container shipments. Colombia remains the main source of the cocaine which is found in Europe, but shipments which are directly from Peru and the Plurinational State of Bolivia are far more common than in the United States market (UNODC) It is clear to see here that the sheer volume of drug trafficking shows how criminology needs to move beyond the state territorial principle as these crimes cannot be dealt with within the nation state, however needs to go beyond that as it is in a global scale.

Before 9/11 the war on drugs was 'the flagship of transnational police enterprise and, so it has been assumed that centrality in the preoccupations of global governance' (Sheptycki, 2000). It has been noted that the motive for the war on drugs was down to a proposal that would reduce danger globally through the creation of a number of international initiative and treaties. Sheptycki held that this globally acclaimed anti drug effort shown by various agencies such as the EU, the UN, INTERPOL and Schengen showed a development of worldwide governance and 'pooling of sovereignty, whereby a 'transnational system developed its own bureaucracy existing 'above' that of the apparatus of nation states' (Aas, 2007)

There are measures in place in order to tackle drug trafficking, these include Border Patrol agencies, Special Task Divisions, sniffer dogs, Coastguard control, security at public places such as the airport. There are many agencies which are at the forefront of the war on drugs. Interpol which was mentioned earlier is the biggest international police organisation that has members from 188 countries. Interpol's criminal intelligence officers focus on the most commonly used and trafficked narcotic drugs cocaine, heroin, cannabis, and synthetic drugs. Interpol's primary drug-control role is to identify new drug trafficking trends and criminal organizations operating at the international level and to assist all national and international law enforcement bodies concerned with countering the illicit production, trafficking and abuse of drugs. Europol another agency which battles drug trafficking, it is the law enforcement agency of the European Union. Their aim is to help achieve a safer Europe by supporting the law enforcement agencies of European Union member states in their fight against international serious crimes. In March 2009, Member States committed to elimination or significant reduction in the global illicit drug supply and demand by 2019 and emphasized that research, data collection and analysis were essential to support and monitor the efforts required to reach that objective (UNODC, 2010). A great deal is being done in order to battle the war on drugs, however drug trafficking is always changing and so beyond the national borders need to be in check and adapt to every phase. Even though many measures are in place to help tackle this global issue, transnational policing lacks in reducing the drug flow. Theres only so much international agencies can do in order to stop the flow of drugs travelling around the world, the nation state needs to do more also for example Afghanistan, obtains 90 per cent of the worlds heroin production, even though there is a presence of western military. Its obvious that in the case of drugs the security problems in the West are questions of development for the developing world.

It is simple to understand if the crime comes to your borders then it is in the matter of the situation being in the hands of that state without any interference of states exercising jurisdictions beyond its borders, however with crimes such as drug trafficking which appears to be an ongoing problem and continuously expands globally it is in need for the state to go beyond the state territorial principle and try and stop the flow of drugs for leaving or entering their state borders, and only way for that is the transnationalization of law, so these crimes can be dealt with as a unity of many states in order to tackle this problem.

In conclusion it is clear to see that the growth of transnational criminology has led to argue that criminology needs to move beyond the state territorial principle. The globalization of criminal markets and the development of transnational crime networks evidently require a more coordinated international response, the expansion in international crime verify that there is a threat to international security, in the twenty-first century a synchronized approach in an international level is made to undertake the growing challenge posed by transnational crime. Crime has become extremely globalised and there is a duty for the nation state to stick to, especially with a global problem of drug trafficking. International cooperation is vital as drug trafficking can aid many other problems such as terrorism. Transnational policing always needs to adapt as drug trafficking is constantly changing. There are many organisations which are constantly battling with this issue, agencies such as the Interpol, World Customs Organisation, United Nations and NGOs. So in order to answer why it is argued that criminology needs to move beyond the state territorial principle, it is because crime has expanded globally and the way different states deal with crimes such as drug trafficking is different around the world, transnationalization of law is evident in the progressive evolution of international law and its systems of tribunals