Organized Crime in the Levant: Conflict, Transactional Relationships and Identity Dynamics [open pdf - 0B]
From the Executive Summary: "The Middle East, a region with a long history and culture, has made important contributions to society as the cradle of civilization. Unfortunately, in contemporary times, the region has been marred by instability, power plays and conflict, most recently against the backdrop of the global coronavirus pandemic. This volatility not only undermines the roles of the region's institutions, national economies and the day-to-day lives of its populations, but has also had a significant impact on organized crime and illicit flows. [...] Although organized crime has always been a feature in the region, illicit activities and flows have begun to rise in the context of this recent tumultuous backdrop - a growth facilitated by public disorder, deterioration in the capacity of state law-enforcement agencies and economic hardship. In the Levant, the effects of the Arab Spring a decade ago have triggered a protracted and brutal conflict in Syria, which has not only made violence and instability the norm in the country, but also affected its neighbours' political stability, social cohesion, and licit and illicit economies. Additionally, like much of the world, the COVID-19 [coronavirus disease 2019] pandemic has placed further strain on the Levant's already weakened health, economic and social structures, fuelling uncertainty about citizens' welfare and the region's ability to recover. COVID-19 has also renewed opportunities for illicit activities to thrive and become a permanent and pervasive fixture in the region - even after the conflict ends and a vaccine is found."
2021 Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime
Global Initiative Against Transitional Organized Crime: https://globalinitiative.net/