The chapters in this book were initially written as papers for a series of seminars organised under the heading of ‘Policy Responses to Transnational Organised Crime’ and funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). A programme of six seminars was held over a two-year period, from February 1999 to February 2001, but the genesis of this programme came earlier. As convenors of two specialist groups of the UK Political Studies Association – respectively, the Politics of Law and Order Group and the Security and Intelligence Studies Group – we agreed in 1996 that the growing salience of the issue of transnational organised crime (hereafter, TOC), in particular the apocalyptic tone of much of the official and media discussion, called for careful examination. At a one-day conference held in October 1996, two main themes were addressed: how could TOC be defined and measured and, second, what were the implications of the way the issue was being discussed for the policy responses being generated? Papers were presented at the conference by a mixture of academics and practitioners and were subsequently published as a special edition of the International Journal of Risk, Security and Crime Prevention (3(2) April 1998).