Economic and Social Research Council
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Understanding the diversity and impact of transnational organised crime

The impact and range of organised crimes co-ordinated across national borders, such as drug trafficking and smuggling, will be the focus of a £1 million research grant from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

The ‘Transnational Organised Crime Innovation Awards’ call was launched as part of the RCUK Partnership for Conflict, Crime and Security Research (PaCCS). Eleven Innovation Awards have been granted to scientists across the UK who will develop new innovative cross-disciplinary approaches, user collaboration and engagement.

The awards aim to develop a better understanding of complex issues around transnational organised crime and how it relates to other licit and illicit activities.

The eleven studies are:

  • Representation of transnational human trafficking in present-day news media, true crime, and fiction
    Dr Christiana Gregoriou, University of Leeds
  • Understanding the nexus of organised crime: Policing in marginalised communities linked with organised crime - best practice network development
    Dr Walter Wehrmeyer, University of Surrey
  • The maritime dimension of transnational organised crime: Engaging Indonesian law enforcement agencies and coastal communities in the land-sea nexus
    Dr Math Noortmann, Coventry University
  • The financial aspects of the trade in counterfeit products: An exploratory study
    Professor Georgios Antonopoulos, Teesside University
  • Anti-smuggling policies and their intersection with humanitarian assistance and social trust
    Dr Sergio Carrera, Queen Mary, University of London
  • Transnational organised crime and translation: Improving police communication across languages
    Dr Joanna Drugan, University of East Anglia
  • The (mis)use of corporate vehicles by transnational organised crime groups in the concealment, conversion and control of illicit finance
    Dr Nicholas Lord, The University of Manchester
  • Behind the curtain: An investigation of the illicit trade in firearms and explosives on the dark net
    Dr Giacomo Persi Paoli, RAND Europe Community Interest Company
  • Breaking bad: How transnational drug trafficking creates violent masculinities in local Caribbean communities in Port of Spain
    Dr Adam Baird, Coventry University
  • 'Negating Humanity': Modern slavery in its historical context and its implications for policy
    Dr Kristofer Allerfeldt, University of Exeter
  • Modern slavery: Meaning and measurement
    Professor Kevin Bales, University of Nottingham

Dr Tristram Riley-Smith, of the University of Cambridge, has been appointed to the role of Research Integrator for these awards.

Notes for editors

  1. The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is the UK’s largest funder of research on the social and economic questions facing us today. It supports the development and training of the UK’s future social scientists and also funds major studies that provide the infrastructure for research. ESRC-funded research informs policymakers and practitioners and helps make businesses, voluntary bodies and other organisations more effective. The ESRC also works collaboratively with six other UK research councils and Innovate UK to fund cross-disciplinary research and innovation addressing major societal challenges. The ESRC is an independent organisation, established by Royal Charter in 1965, and funded mainly by the Government.
  2. The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funds world-class, independent researchers in a wide range of subjects: history, archaeology, digital content, philosophy, languages, design, heritage, area studies, the creative and performing arts, and much more. This financial year the AHRC will spend approximately £98 million to fund research and postgraduate training in collaboration with a number of partners. The quality and range of research supported by this investment of public funds not only provides social and cultural benefits and contributes to the economic success of the UK, but also contributes to the culture and welfare of societies around the globe.

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