Unpacking Pandora’s Box: Defining Transnational Crime and Outlining Emerging Criminal Trends
Transnational crime has been accepted as a working concept in most related disciplines. Yet, regardless of its wide recognition by academic
and policy making communities, the term has remained amorphous. In order to provide greater precision, this article engages in a bold effort to conceptualise transnational crime by gauging its extent and diversity. It explores the conceptual richness of the term transnational crime by establishing the spatial relationship between its transnational, international, and domestic forms. It also clarifies the structural specificity of transnational crime by drawing a line between transnational organised crime and solo-crimes. Linkages between criminal actors as well as criminal-legal symbiosis are elaborated. As well as, an important distinction between illegal and illicit criminal activities is made.
Conceptual issues covered in the article have overall indicated how important it is to relativise and theorise what we know about transnational crime and its spatial, organisational, and operational specificities.