Legacies of the troubles. The links between organised crime and terrorism in Northern Ireland

Jupp, John and Garrod, Matthew (2019) Legacies of the troubles. The links between organised crime and terrorism in Northern Ireland. Studies in Conflict & Terrorism. ISSN 1057-610X (Accepted)

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One of the most important legacies of the ‘Troubles’ in Northern Ireland and the ensuing twenty years post peace-process era, heralded by the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, is the rise of complex and diverse Republican and Loyalist paramilitary groups engaging in acts of terrorism and a wide range of organised criminal and cross-border activities. And yet, little scholarship has been dedicated to examining the nexus between terrorism and organised crime in Northern Ireland or to accurately understanding the role that paramilitaries play in organised crime and their dynamic interactions with organised criminal groups. Informed by empirical evidence and qualitative interviews with government agencies in Northern Ireland, it is this increasingly important gap in scholarship that this article aims to fill. It does so by developing a new terrorism-organised crime interaction theoretical model designed specifically for application to Northern Ireland in order to shed new light on the evolution and current complex linkages between terrorism and organised crime in Northern Ireland and beyond.
The Northern Ireland model, which both builds on and departs from crime-terror models in existing scholarship, reveals a vast array of domestic and transnational ‘activity assimilation’ and ‘alliances’, as well as other forms of interactions including ‘conflicts’ and different gradations of ‘transformation’. The article concludes that national terrorism-organised crime models, and the Northern Ireland model in particular, albeit with variations to its constituent components to accommodate local situations, are most appropriate for capturing intricate and dynamic interactions between these two phenomena across diverse environments rather than existing models that are abstract and designed for universal application. Northern Ireland presently faces a serious threat to its security and stability posed by the nexus between terrorism and organised crime, and numerous challenges need to be urgently addressed if it is to be combatted. Understanding the organised crime-terrorism nexus at the present moment could not be more vital. Indeed, Brexit and potential implications for the Irish border present by far the most important challenge to the Good Friday Agreement since its adoption and, as a corollary, ensuring that paramilitary groups do not utilise their capacity to re-engage in acts of terrorism. As part of the initial steps towards a solution to some of these challenges, the Northern Ireland model therefore represents a useful tool that could be harnessed, and built upon, by policy makers and government agencies for defining and mapping out the terrorism-organised crime nexus in Northern Ireland.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Law
Subjects: K Law > K Law in General. Comparative and uniform Law. Jurisprudence
K Law > KD Law of the United Kingdom and Ireland > KDE Northern Ireland
Depositing User: Matthew Garrod
Date Deposited: 06 Jun 2019 11:59
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2019 14:55
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/84121

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