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Title: Organised networks in Serbia : crime control and state capture in a country undergoing democratic transition and EU accession
Author: Koturovic, Darja
ISNI:       0000 0004 8509 2855
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis explores whether the extent of criminal networks in Serbia and their impact upon the country as it undergoes EU accession indicates a phenomenon that has been termed ‘state capture’. Through an analysis of Serbia’s stalled democratic transition and its association with the EU accession process, conditions for state capture in the field of crime control are found to have been established. Given recurrent references in international monitoring reports to organised crime as one of the key obstacles to accession, the impact of organised criminal networks on the crime control system is examined to understand their potential to act as captors. For the purpose of this exploration, the effectiveness of state institutions responsible for suppression of organised crime and drug trafficking, conceptualised as a state response network, is investigated. The findings of this research identified particular opportunities and mechanisms of capture, which involve systemic gaps or structural holes in the network of state institutions responsible for crime control. The positioning of these systemic loopholes creates points of arbitrage through a symbiosis of state actors, corruption and criminal networks, which hinders effective suppression of organized crime and eventually leads to state capture. The findings are based on a comprehensive review of official reports, international assessments and elite interviews with a sample of 65 state officials and civil society. Two methodological approaches were combined. First, a content analysis was used to identify the key issues hindering the effectiveness of crime control in this field. The identified issues were subsequently analysed using Social Network Analysis to increase the validity of the findings through quantitative assessment. Social network analysis was implemented in an innovative manner to map the state response network and quantitatively detect potential loopholes in its functioning, not all of which had been fully recognised in their extent or form in the first, qualitative, approach. On the basis of these analyses, this research proposes that state capture can be defined as a set of seemingly inexplicable system deficiencies involving patterns of structural omissions and covert practices that have the potential to disrupt legitimate institutional behaviour and exert influence by using corruption and other forms of personal linkage and exchange.
Supervisor: Brown, Mark ; Prodromodou, Alexandra Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available