Organised Crime and Corruption Programme

Our work on organised crime and corruption explores the dynamics of illicit markets and the drivers and enablers that sustain them in order to inform effective policy responses.

Pexels | Deserted port at night

Across the UK and globally, the damaging impact of organised crime and corruption is felt by individuals, communities, and the public and private sectors. Yet the response has failed to keep pace with these rapidly evolving threats, leaving the public and private sectors under unprecedented pressure to both understand these complex issues and effectively respond to them. Under this programme we conduct timely, evidence-based research to better understand the threats posed by organised crime and corruption and to inform the national and international response. We also bring together stakeholders from across sectors, facilitating dialogue and bridging gaps between siloed responses.

This work spans various illicit activities, including the trafficking of drugs, humans and arms and facilitating crimes such as money laundering and corruption. It also considers the intersections of criminality and other security threats like terrorism, armed conflict and climate change.

Pexels | Deserted port at night

Research areas

Strategic Hub for Organised Crime Research (SHOC)

SHOC aims to bring together academics, practitioners and policymakers to create a collaborative network of experts, working to improve understanding of and responses to organised crime, policing challenges, and environmental crime and climate security.

Strategic Hub for Organised Crime Research (SHOC)

SHOC is a world-class research network that brings together academics, practitioners, policymakers and the private sector to facilitate policy-relevant research and dialogue on organised crime.

Organised Crime, Corruption and Conflict

Conflict breeds insecurity and instability – conditions under which organised crime and corruption can thrive, often becoming key sources of revenue for non-state armed groups and state actors alike. This body of research investigates the intersections between criminality, corruption and violent conflict to provide evidence-based and context-specific policy recommendations.

Criminal Convergence

Criminal markets often overlap and reinforce each other, such as drugs being exchanged for weapons or human trafficking to provide labour for illegal mining. Additionally, organised crime groups are increasingly involved in multiple illicit markets. This research examines and unravels the linkages between various forms of criminality, informing evidence-based responses.


Global illicit flows such as drugs, arms and people trafficking continue to generate substantial illicit financial movements which undercut development, undermine national economies and fuel insecurity. Our work provides robust research and analysis to better understand these threats and inform a more effective response.


View projects related to this programme of work.

The Geopolitics of Captagon

Use of Targeted Sanctions against Organised Crime: The Role of Political Will

10 Years, 10 Threats: How Organised Crime Has Evolved over a Decade

Interrogating Corruption Risk in Voluntary Carbon Markets

Organised Crime, Terror and Insecurity in Africa (OCTA)

RUSI State Threats Taskforce (STT)

Strategic Hub for Organised Crime Research (SHOC)

Organised Crime and Gender

Ports Governance Programme

CRIMSON: Critical Maritime Routes

MASIF: Global Illicit Flows

Latest publications

View all publications