Eastern European Immigration and Crime

Authored by: Jana Arsovska

Routledge Handbook on Immigration and Crime

Print publication date:  February  2018
Online publication date:  February  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138668416
eBook ISBN: 9781317211563
Adobe ISBN:


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Since the fall of the Iron Curtain and the beginning of the EU enlargement towards Central and Eastern Europe, migration has been frequently linked to organized crime, terrorism, and Islamic fundamentalism. Similarly, in the United States, Eastern European immigrants, and foreigners in general, have often been blamed for various crimes. While research studies indicate that internal insecurity, organized crime, and unemployment, are not necessarily results of increased flow of immigrants, the issue has been continuously politicized by parties trying to legitimize restrictive border policies and create fear among the general population. This paper studies Eastern European immigration mainly to Western Europe and the United States, and its effects on crime, including organized crime, in Western countries. It also examines the degree to which some Eastern European organized crime groups have been “transplanting” and strategically relocating to Western countries after the fall of communism. The paper systematically examines the limited academic and grey literature (newspapers, government and NGO reports) on the topic. It concludes that Eastern European immigration is not posing threat to Western democracies.

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