Is There Honor Among Crooks?

Per Ole Johansen, University of Oslo
Klaus Von Lampe, Freie Universitaet Berlin

This paper examines the importance of interpersonal trust for the emergence and continued existence of criminal networks. According to one frequently stated assumption, relations between cooperating criminal actors need to be founded on bonds of trust in order to reduce the risks inherent in such relations to a tolerable level. A conceptualization of "trust" for the purpose of analyzing criminal networks is proposed, and empirical findings are presented on trust and the lack of trust in the illegal alcohol market in Norway and the illegal cigarette market in Germany.

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Updated 05/20/2006