In many parts of the world, including in many vulnerable and fragile states, organized crime both exploits and exacerbates conditions that allow it to thrive.

Organized crime has undermined state institutions across sectors, including for example, in the areas of environment, health, welfare and education, and further weakens state capacity to ensure the rule of law and provide security to citizens.  The result is a vicious cycle: organized crime negatively impacts on the rule of law, human and economic development creating the conditions for further instability and distorted or weak governance.

The Global Initiative, in partnership with the Government of the Netherlands, convened together a small group of 40 development practitioners and researchers and analysts on the issue of organized crime, development, democracy, conflict and state fragility.

Below you will find the background paper for the meeting “Improving Development Responses to Transnational Organized Crime” to be held from the 8-9th April 2014 in The Hague.

The paper contains an overview of the some of the most critical debates that have occurred to date in respect to development responses to security issues and to organized crime in particular. In addition, in order to stimulate discussion during the meeting, the paper seeks to provide a conceptual backdrop for a debate on pertinent policy responses for development actors who seek to engage in effective responses to organized crime.