Understanding organized crime groups in Russia and their illicit sale of weapons and sensitive materials
Lowy, David M.
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Through the example of illicit sales of weapons and sensitive materials, this thesis shows how an economic theory of organized crime can be used to understand and predict the behavior of organized crime groups in Russia. The author assumes that organized crime groups are rational, 'corporate like' entities, that seek to maximize profits and minimize the risks involved in attaining those profits. Therefore, they assess the opportunities, risks and potential benefits of committing crimes. Furthermore, the assessment is entirely dependent on the condition of the environments in which they must operate. When this theory is applied to Russia, it shows that Russia's political, economic, state security, and social environments are well suited to the illicit sale of weapons and sensitive materials. This is due to the increased opportunities, decreased risks, and huge potential benefits associated with these illicit activities in Russia today. As a result of this analysis, recommendations can be made that will better focus the efforts to fight proliferation by organized crime groups
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