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Criminalized Peace

Are transnational crime-fighting and peace processes compatible? Does fighting crime in (post)conflict countries in the Global South lead to more peace and security or more violence and instability? This project will explore how the internationally driven fight against transnational organized crime supports or undermines peace processes.

Several people lined up in line who cover their faces and have their heads covered with green textiles to hide their identity.

Members of a criminal gang who allegedly work for drug traffickers, covering their faces to conceal their identity, stand in formation after surrendering their weapons at a military base in Carepa, Colombia, Thursday, May 21, 2009. About 108 members from the gang known as "Los Rastrojos" surrendered their weapons to the army as part of a peace process in the region. Photo: Luis Benavides / AP / NTB

About the project

The Sustainable Development Goal 16.4. to ‘combat all forms of organized crime’ throughout the Global South is based on the key assumption that crime control responses are necessary, effective and adequate in bringing forth peace and security. However, this is an assumption that this project aims to challenge and further explore because the opposite seems often to be the case: control responses to fight transnational crime may themselves lead to more violence and instability.

The project therefore explores how and under what conditions the internationally driven fight against transnational organized crime promotes or disrupts peace processes. It will specifically investigate two priority countries for Norwegian foreign policy: Colombia and Mali.

To better understand the relationship between the crime-fighting and peace, the project will combine insights from Criminology and Peace and Conflict studies.


Ultimately, the aim of the project is to create the starting point of a broader research agenda that investigates the peace-furthering potential of transnational crime control.


Fieldwork in Colombia and Mali.

Project period

The project will run for four years starting 1 December 2021.


The project is funded by the Norwegian Research Council.


  • Freie Universität Berlin
  • Oxford University
  • Transnational Institute (TNI)
  • Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime (GI-TOC)
Published Jan. 12, 2022 1:47 PM - Last modified Apr. 26, 2022 4:00 PM


Project leader

Eva Magdalena Stambøl


Maud Hol