Filling governance and development vacuums
A role for development actors or criminal groups?
BySasha Jesperson
Pages 16

This chapter outlines the shift in approach from a predominantly law enforcement or security focus to become more comprehensive through the inclusion of development tools. It examines the role of criminal groups in fragile and conflict-affected states, where governance vacuums are the most pronounced. Organised crime is approached from an interventionist perspective, considering the aims of peacebuilding and development actors. While the findings point to entry points to transform criminal agendas, this would require further, more specific and detailed analysis. Theoretically, the chapter draws on a critical peacebuilding perspective; it stems from the assumption that current peacebuilding approaches are inherently flawed and need to be fundamentally rethought. It reviews the increasing involvement of development actors in the response to organised crime, followed by a discussion of the impact organised crime has on development, and in particular governance. The chapter then assesses whether there is scope to work 'with' criminal groups rather than against them.