The Domodedovo blame game

Yesterday’s terrible terrorist attack at Domodedovo has had a variety of outcomes. Some heart-warming, not least the outpouring of official and public sympathy, from governments to the individual Muscovites who drove passengers to and from the airport to save them from opportunistic fares that some taxi drivers were demanding in the aftermath. Others knee-jerk, such as the new security measures which will ensure that for the immediate future Moscow’s airports will become bottlenecked nightmares, probably with no increase in security. And others predictable but no less depressing, such as the blame game between various security agencies.

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Bad news: official Russian crime data are under-reports; good news: Russian academics are digging out the real data

There is a long and inglorious tradition of under-reported crime rates in Russia. In part, this sometimes reflects the state’s unwillingness to admit the scale of the problem; in part, the police themselves choosing to ignore crimes or report them as being less serious than they really are; and in part, ‘latent crime’ resulting from public unwillingness to turn to the authorities, whether out of mistrust or simply because they don’t think there is any point. Together, these can lead to all kinds of anomalies in the apparent crime rate.

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‘Crime in Post-Soviet Societies’, in Herzog-Evans (ed), Transnational Crime Manual

My latest publication on post-Soviet crime is an overview in a comprehensive three-volume Transnational Crime Manual (Wolf Legal Publishers, 2010) edited by Prof. Martine Herzog-Evans of the University of Rheims. My chapter explores how the collapse of the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact satellite states not only created but also revealed a wide range of social, political and economic problems, from the underground economy to corruption. While the 1990s saw the post‐Soviet states working through crises that allowed organized and disorganized crime to flourish, since then there has been a diversification of the post‐Soviet experience, with some countries beginning an effective campaign to control criminality (take a bow, Baltic states), others reaching a symbiotic equilibrium with it (bizarre Belarus, for example) and a number – frankly, most – seeing a convergence between corrupt elites and organized crime.

2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

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