• Offered by School of Sociology
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Criminology
  • Areas of interest Anthropology, Development Studies, Sociology, Asia Pacific Studies, Criminology
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Mauricio Ochoa Hernandez
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2015
    See Future Offerings

The term "organised crime" brings to mind Drug Cartels, Mafias, Black Societies and Biker gangs.  What do these groups have in common? What are their differences? What do they actually do? This course aims to unpack and understand the dynamics of organised crime, its actors, groups, activities and organisation as well as their geographical aspects. We will explore from a theoretical and practical perspective the different approaches that have been used in order to explain and understand organised crime, as well as the policy responses to it. Case-based approaches will be used to illustrate throughout the course.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon Successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Identify and understand the main theoretical approaches to the study of organised crime and their evolution across time.
  2. Critically evaluate the contributions of different schools of thought to our understanding of organised crime.
  3. Identify the main characteristics, activities actors and forms of organised crime.
  4. Identify and critically analyse organised crime policy at the local and international level.

Indicative Assessment

Participation: 10% (LO 2)

Presentation in tutorial: 10 minutes 10% (LO 2)

Essay Plan: 1500 words 30% (LO 1, 2, 3)

Major Essay: 3000 words 50% (LO 1, 2, 3, 4) 

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2 hours of lectures and 1 hour of tutorial per week for 13 weeks. Students are expected to undertake a further 7 hours of independent study per week over the semester (total 130 hours)

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 6 units of 1000 level courses. You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed CRIM6002.

Prescribed Texts

Chapters 3, 9, 17, 23, and 36 in: Allum, Felia and Gilmour, Stan (eds) Routledge Handobook of Transnational Organised Crime, Routledge 2012.

Maltz, Michael. On defining Organised Crime: The development of a definition and a typology. In Varese, F. (ed.) Organised Crime, Routledge, 2011.

Paoli, Letizia. The paradoxes of organised crime, n Varese, F. (ed.) Organised Crime, Routledge, 2011.

Tilly, Charles. War making and state making as organised crime. n Varese, F. (ed.) Organised Crime, Routledge, 2011.

Skaperdas, Stergios. The political economy of organised crime: providing protection when the state does not. In Varese, F. (ed.) Organised Crime, Routledge, 2011.

Gambetta, Diego. The trademarks. In Varese, F. (ed.) Organised Crime, Routledge, 2011.

Morselli, Carlo and Petit, Katia. Law-enforcement disruption of a drug importation network. In Varese, F. (ed.) Organised Crime, Routledge, 2011.

Preliminary Reading

Varese, Federico. Mafias on the move: How organised crime conquers new territories. Princeton University Press, 2011.

Albanese, Jay and Reichel, Philip (eds). Translational Organised Crime: An overview form six continants. Sage. 2014.

Morselli, Carlo, ed. Crime and Networks. Routledge, 2013.

Gambetta, Diego. The Sicilian Mafia: The Bussiness of Private Protection, Harvard, 1993

Assumed Knowledge

Some very basic knowledge of sociology and criminology  may be assumed. Recommended course is:  SOCY1005 The Criminological Imagination




Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $2604
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $3576
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
3401 16 Feb 2015 06 Mar 2015 31 Mar 2015 29 May 2015 In Person N/A

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