The Symbiosis of politics and crime in Lithuania

Mokslo publikacijos / Scientific publications
Document Type:
Straipsnis / Article
Anglų kalba / English
The Symbiosis of politics and crime in Lithuania
In the Journal:
Journal of Baltic studies. 2004, vol. 35, no. 4, p. 346-359
Kriminalistika. Kriminologija / Criminology; Politika / Politics.
Summary / Abstract:

LTReikšminiai žodžiai: Nusikalstama veika; Organizuotas nusikalstamumas; Organizuotas nusikalstamumas Lietuvoje; Politika; Transformacijos; Crime; Lithuania; Organized crime; Organized crime in Lithuania; Politics; Transformation process.

ENThe article argues that since the mid 1990s organized crime in Lithuania has undergone significant transformation. During the early 1990s organized crime was characterized by groups challenging the state in the process of privatization of state property. At this time the most important mode of organized criminal activities was coercion, intimidation and violence. Since the mid 1990s the degree of violence typical to organized criminality has declined significantly. Instead organized crime associations have became active in attempting to partially appropriate the state by influencing, bribing and corrupting state actors. Membership of organized crime associations also underwent changes. Formally a number of prominent crime groups were made up of socially homogenous, lower class "outsiders" who used violence as the primary means of domination and enrichment. Contemporary criminal associations typically are comprised of informal networks of individuals of higher socio-economic standing, who are influential in a wide range of domains: legal and illegal, state and private, bureaucracy and private enterprise. Instead of violence a multiplicity of interactions and transactions among these elite networks are utilized to enable, transact, exchange and enhance mutually beneficial influence and criminal enrichment. We explore the dynamics that have facilitated the emergence of the postmodern organized crime associations that have gained legitimate and illegitimate social and political standing and influence within Lithuania. To illustrate the organized crime transformation the most recent political crisis, involving President Paksas' office engagement in corruption and organized crime, is analyzed. The implications of the transformation in organized crime for the criminal justice system in the country are discussed. [From the publication]

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2020-07-21 19:06:12
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