Organised crime and law enforcement in Southern Africa: The challenges confronting research

Authors Annette Hübschle, Professor Elrena van der Spuy

ISSN: 2026-8556
Affiliations: Institute for Security Studies and Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies; Centre of Criminology, University of Cape Town
Source: SADC Law Journal, The, 2012, Issue 2, p. 319 – 334


From the early 1990s onwards, research and policies concerning organised crime in the southern African region have grown apace. But the quest for both quantitative and qualitative research is far from being satisfied. The paper uses an ambitious research project (titled Enhancing Regional Responses to Organised Crime, or EROC) as a case study in order to explore the dynamics which inform and shape research on organised crime from the point of project initiation through to project conceptualisation, data-gathering and analysis, the dissemination of findings, and the formulation of policy recommendations for effective law enforcement. The discussion provides an overview of the many challenges which research on organised crime and law enforcement strategies have to contend with in the southern African region. A critical analysis of the macro- and micro-processes which shape the development of research-based policy interventions in relation to organised crime can contribute to our appreciation of the problem of organised crime itself and of the prospects for police cooperation in the region.