Karlsruhe Dialogues 2010

Organized Crime - Dark Sides of Globalization

Prof. Dr. James O. Finckenauer




James O. Finckenauer is Professor for criminal justice in New Jersey/USA. He received his Master degree in sociology and criminology in 1965 and his PhD in 1971 at New York University. The topic of his doctoral dissertation was “Police Community Contact and the Stereotypic Image of the Police in a Suburban Community”. Among others, he worked as Professor and Chairman of the Department of Criminal Justice at Trenton State College/New Jersey and Associate Professor as well as Professor in the School of Criminal Justice at Rutgers University in Newark/New Jersey, where he also was founding member of the faculty. From 1998 to 2002, Finckenauer was Director of the International Center at the National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington D.D. and since 2001 he works as Distinguished Professor at the School of Criminal Justice at Rutgers University in Newark/New Jersey. Finckenauer is specialist on the topics organized crime, comparative and international crime and justice, criminal justice policy as well as planning and evaluation. Currently he is doing research on transnational organized crime and sex trafficking, cultural deviance and the fate of the rule-of-law and a culture of lawfulness in Russia. A great number of books, journal articles and book chapters he has published deal with organized crime, such as the books “Russian Mafia in America: Immigration, Culture and Crime” (with E. Waring, 1998) and “Asian Transnational Organized Crime” (with Ko-lin Chin, 2007). For his dedicated work, Finckenauer has received numerous awards and honors, two of the latest are the New Jersey Association of Criminal Justice Educators Jack Mark Memorial Award for contributions to criminal justice education at the state, national and international levels in 2005 and the Gerhard O. W. Mueller International Section Award by the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences in 2009.


ZAK asked Prof. Dr. James O. Finckenauer to answer the following question:

Globalization makes it possible that organized crime expands. What can be done against it at the local level?

Because transnational organized crime often manifests itself at the local level, and because local law enforcement often fails to recognize those manifestations, it is most important to increase local awareness. This can be done in several ways, for example: in-service training; the creation of special units in larger jurisdictions; and the establishment of joint (local, state, federal) task forces that focus on particular crimes that are organized and that are transnational in nature.