South East Europe’s diaspora: The dark side

This seminar will examine the dark side of the diasporas of South East European countries, and the extent and nature of their potential involvement in organised crime and corruption. Dr Liz David-Barrett, Director of the Sussex Centre for the Study of Corruption, and a Senior Lecturer at the University of Sussex, will look at the issues from a broad and conceptual perspective, mapping out the mechanisms which connect organised crime and corruption, and highlighting the opportunities and challenges faced by diasporas in each case. Edrin Gjoni, Community Engagement Officer for the Albanian community in the Home Office, will talk about the cultural mindset of the certain segments of the diaspora which facilitate informal and structured criminal networks. John Howell, founder of JH& Co, will address the criminal justice statistics on UK crime involving West Balkans nationals. These suggests that individuals involved are more likely to come from certain regions than others, and that specialisation in markets and methods are again linked to area of origin. He will ask whether these are accurate insights into crime patterns and regional variations or whether they result from other factors e.g. investigation bias.