Mitchell Centre Seminar Series
|Starts:||16:00 18 Apr 2018|
|Ends:||17:30 18 Apr 2018|
|What is it:||Seminar|
|Organiser:||School of Social Sciences|
Giulia Berlusconi, National University of Ireland, Alberto Aziani, Universita’ Cattolica del Sacro Cuore and Transcrime, Milan, and Luca Giommoni, Cardiff University.
Cocaine supply to Europe: A social network analysis
Advocates of the illegal enterprise theory and of the social embeddedness theory have highlighted the importance of market forces and social factors respectively when analysing organised criminal activities. This paper empirically shows the explanatory power of these factors with regard to the transnational trafficking of cocaine. It conceives transnational drug flows as a network of relationships between countries and utilises recent advances in statistical models for social networks to analyse cocaine supply to Europe. First, it estimates the size of cocaine flows among a network of 93 countries, before subsequently using a latent space approach to model the presence of trafficking and the amount of drug traded between any two given countries. Many networks, such as trade networks, are intrinsically weighted, and ignoring edge weights results in a loss of relevant information. Traditionally, the gravity model has been used to predict legal trade flows, assuming conditional independence among observations. More recently, latent space position models for social networks have been used to analyse legal trade among countries, and can also be applied to the context of illegal trade to count both edge weights and conditional dependence among observations. The results confirm the central role of social proximity in drug trafficking, and generate insights into the relationship between geography and corruption in influencing the structure of transnational drug networks.
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