Global Organized Crime
A Reference Handbook
by Mitchel P. Roth
May 2010, 308pp, 6x9
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-59884-332-3
$61, £46, 51€, A88
eBook Available: 978-1-59884-333-0
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

In 2009, pirates near the coast of Somalia attacked roughly 214 vessels and seized 47 ships. While recent hijackings and ransoms exploits on the high seas bear striking parallels to the “Golden Age of Piracy” during 1650–1730, it is evident that modern-day piracy has changed in the scope of such activities, the technologies that enable them, and the terrorist connections that threaten global security.

This book offers a comprehensive, multidimensional look into the major activities, groups, causes, and policing strategies related to global organized crime.

Global Organized Crime: A Reference Handbook examines global organized crime dating back to its 17th-century roots. Unlike most works on the subject, which take a parochial approach by concentrating on individual countries or regions, this book uniquely details the impact of 21st-century globalization on such groups and their activities.

Exploring the continuum of international organized crime and related developments from its early beginnings to the present era, the book also looks at the complicated issues that continue to influence its growth. It covers the impact of the end of the Cold War, immigration, the global drug trade, weapons sales, human smuggling and trafficking, the convergence of funding sources, and the effects of technology. What especially distinguishes this book is the connections it makes between organized crime activities and failed states, civil wars, political transitions, regional conflicts, and terrorist groups.


  • A separate chapter offers the most significant primary documents and sources related to organized crime over the past century, including reports from the United Nations, the European Union, Interpol, and other organizations
  • Includes annotated resource listings of the most significant books, articles, journals, websites, and documentaries on globalization and organized crime so readers can pursue further research
  • Provides a glossary of close to 60 important topics, individuals, and groups
Mitchel P. Roth, PhD, is professor of criminal justice in the College of Criminal Justice at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX. Dr. Roth has written ten books including Crime and Punishment: A History of the Criminal Justice System, Prisons and Prison Systems: A Global Encyclopedia, and Organized Crime.


"Roth (criminal justice, Sam Houston State U.) provides a reference work on the history and development of global organized crime, the factors that influence it, and its connections to failed states, civil wars, political transitions and conflicts, and terrorism. The author also explores the varieties of organized crime (such as illegal drug trafficking, weapons, and snake heads), gang structure, law enforcement and barriers to international law enforcement, and criminal groups."—Reference & Research Book News, August 1, 2010

"Because of its depth of exploration, this reference will probably be most useful for college students, but general-interest readers may find it informative."—Library Journal, August 1, 2010

"Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates and above."—Choice, November 1, 2010

Contemporary World Issues

This award-winning series offers comprehensive, one-volume reference handbooks on important topics related to health, education, the environment, and social and ethical issues.

24-hour cable news. Millions of internet sites. Information overload. How can we sort through the information? Assess the analyses? Trust the sources?

A world of questions demands a library of answers. Contemporary World Issues covers the controversial topics that students, readers, and citizens want to read about, write about, and know more about.


Subject coverage spans six main categories:

  • Criminal Justice
  • Environment
  • Gender and Ethnicity
  • Politics, Law, and Government
  • Science, Technology, and Medicine
  • Society
Each volume offers a rich array of resources:
  • A background and history essay that provides essential context and grounding for further study
  • A balanced summary of ongoing controversies and proposed solutions that show numerous paths for further research on pressing, contemporary questions
  • A forum of authoritative perspective essays by experts, offering a broad spectrum of arguments on the issues
  • Carefully selected annotated documents, tables, and graphs that support statistical literacy and investigation of primary sources
  • A chronology of events, legislation, and movements that place events in sequence and draw connections between them
  • Annotated lists of print, web, and multimedia resources that power the next steps for in-depth research
  • Profiles of key players and organizations
  • A glossary of key terms
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