Karlsruhe Dialogues 2010

Organized Crime - Dark Sides of Globalization


14. Karlsruher Gespräche5th-7th February 2010

Globalization of economies and societies is accompanied by transnational organized crime that threatens international security and stability. The FlowTex scandal, a serious case of business crime in Ettlingen, Baden, a couple of years ago is only one example of how organized crime may emerge. By now, criminal networks operate worldwide, and they can be found in every political system. New “markets” are conquered, and global demand within the framework of an underground economy is on the rise. There are estimates that about 20% of global economic output can be attributed to the results of criminal business processes. By investing illegally earned funds in legal businesses, the criminal milieu increasingly gains political and economical influence. The biggest lines of business of global crime include human trafficking, drug trafficking, smuggling of arms and product piracy.

Combating organized crime constitutes one of the great challenges of constitutional process, democracy and economic order. The political, social and economic future will be shaped by how the community of states face this threat coming from today’s organized crime, and whether the rate of organized crime in the social and economic system can be kept relatively low. In the past years, international terrorism is more in the public eye rather than organized crime. The topic remains relevant and explosive. Due to creeping processes organized crime undermines states, destroys civil rights, fosters corruption, finances wars, and, ultimately, also boosts terrorism.

The Karlsruhe Dialogues discuss the broad political, judicial, sociological, psychological and economical aspects of organized crime, and they analyze the measures taken to fight crime. Aside from these questions, the morality issue arises, as well as the question about ethical values and about our social system – especially in times of economic crisis. To what extent does globalization spur on organized crime? How can democratic freedom, social responsibility and undeniable security measures be aligned? These questions shall be up for discussion, as well as the impact of organized crime on the economy and on financial markets, the conduct of politics, and the role of the EU and the community of states. Further topics of the symposium will be the challenge the mafia poses for democracy as well as the ambivalent role of women and new media in organized crime. The analytical discourse of the Karlsruhe Dialogues will include cultural events designed to bring in further aspects from the artistic view. In cooperation with the television station ARTE and the ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, this year’s topic will be explored in a film night as well as in a scenic reading in the Karlsruhe State Theatre.

You can attend most events within the Karlsruhe Dialogues without an entrance fee.
We’d be very happy to welcome you!
Conference languages: German, English; simultaneous interpreting.



Prof. Dr. Caroline Y. Robertson-von Trotha
Ina Scholl M.A.
Public Relations:
Sigrid M. Heneka-Peters M.A.



Kindly supported by


Logo der Sparda Bank Logo der Stiftung der Sparda Bank Logo Stadt Karlsruhe

The ZAK is most appreciative to have found a “partner of culture” with the Sparda-Bank Baden-Württemberg eG and the Stiftung Kunst und Kultur of the Sparda-Bank Baden-Württemberg. Once again, the bank and the city of Karlsruhe support the Karlsruhe Dialogues financially. The ZAK relies on institutional partners that in part have been supporting our centre for many years conceptually, organizationally and/or by active participation. Among them are the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Karlsruhe, the ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, the Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe, and the TV station ARTE.