Roderic Broadhurst




Dr. Roderic Broadhurst is Professor of Criminology, School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet), and Research School of Asian and the Pacific and Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University. He was formerly the Deputy Director of the Australian Research Council, Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security, ANU. His recent books include Violence and the Civilizing Process in Cambodia, (Cambridge University Press 2015), Business and the Risk of Crime in China (ANU Press 2011), Policing in Context (Oxford 2009). His research interest include crime and modernization, homicide, comparative studies of crime, recidivism, criminal behaviour, organized crime in China and Asia, and crime in cyberspace.

Transnational and Organised Crime in Asia: Criminal Innovation and Illicit Global Markets

The size and reach of the market in illicit products and services reflects patterns of globalization, economic growth, conflict as well as government and civil responses to the impacts of these markets. In Asia, these illicit markets have grown rapidly with the opening up and development of China and ASEAN boosted by infrastructure development and increased wealth. Traditional crime groups have been re-vitalized and new entrepreneurial crime groups have emerged to capitalise on the ‘market’ opportunities contributing to surge in the use of narcotics and other contraband in South East and East Asia. These developments have also triggered in some jurisdictions a radical response, such as Philippines President Duterte’s bloody ‘war on drugs’. 

While illicit and dangerous drugs account for a substantial element of the estimated $USD100 billion illicit economy in Asia estimated by the UNODC, the overall effort of ASEAN and other regional actors has been ineffective and alternative approaches, including treatment and de-criminalisation have not developed apace. Policies such as ‘drug free zones’ and ‘war on drugs’ have historically been ineffective and have grave unintended consequences. This presentation outlines the scale of organised crime in Asia and how local responses can amplify, reshape the strategic response or diminish the hidden power of organised crime.