CRF Blog

How Transnational Crime Hinders Development — And What to Do About It

by Sophia Khan

The Council on Foreign Relations’ Stewart M. Patrick discusses why transnational crime in developing countries has become a dangerous and pressing issue for every nation of the world.

Across the board, transnational organized crime — to say nothing of local crime and corruption — is a huge obstacle to sustainable development, including the Millennium Development Goals. Crime and corruption degrade already weak state institutions, as criminals use resources from illicit activities to bribe law enforcement officials, neutralize courts, purchase or intimidate politicians and journalists, and engage business leaders in criminal activities. Cumulatively, this tears at the social fabric, undermines the legitimacy of the state, drives out licit economic activity, endangers public security, and can fuel insurgency and disorder. [more]