Call for papers vol 9, no. 1, 2018 is open until 30 March 2018


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Phil Williams has taken this analysis further. Although he does not entirely disagree with Makarenko, he believes that the categories needed to be further disaggregated. In his proposition he differentiates between the essence of organizations, the activities that are coherent with such an essence, and the instrumental use of peripheral activities. In that sense, as it can be observed in figure 2, he separates criminal organizations and terrorist organizations drawing distinctions between organized crime as a method, as an entity, and terrorism as method and as entity. For criminal entities it is natural to use criminal methods, as for terrorist entities it is normal to use terrorist
methods. But other dynamics also emerge: cooperation between entities of different type, the appropriation of criminal activities by terrorist entities and of terrorist activities by criminal entities, of which the latter is more common to be found.
But a more important contribution is Williams’ idea of transformation. He believes that a process in which a terrorist entity becomes a criminal enterprise, and vice versa, is possible. As shown in the figure, this could happen in a direct form or through the creation of a hybrid organization. In the latter, the political and criminal dimensions are blended making it impossible to refer to the group entirely as a political or a criminal actor. But more importantly, Williams believes that although cooperation between
terrorists/insurgents and criminal groups is not insignificant, transformation is more likely than the establishment of alliances (Williams, 2008:129-145).

This idea is shared by Christopher Dishman who argues that terrorist groups can be transformed into transnational criminal organizations when they become interested in
profits, even when a political motivation exists. He is resistant to the idea of cooperation between different types of organizations (i.e. terrorists/criminals) due to the contrasting aims and motivations they display (Dishman, 2001:47-50).

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