Success in criminal enterprise largely depends on how offenders go about committing their crimes. An offender's search for increasing financial returns and decreasing costs is mediated by the structure of his pool of useful and trustworthy contacts. In Contacts, Opportunities, and Criminal Enterprise, Carlo Morselli examines how business-oriented criminals who have personal networks designed to promote high numbers of diverse contacts achieve and maintain competitive advantages in their earning activities and overall criminal careers. Based on two case studies of criminal careers in international cannabis smuggling and Cosa Nosta racketeering, the book proposes a social network framework to study the underlying social relationships influencing achievement in crime. Morselli further utilizes this relational approach to illustrate how survival and long-term endurance in criminal enterprise is achieved, and how criminals' networks of contacts and opportunities can insulate them from potentially career-damaging forces - law enforcement, fellow criminals, etc. Contacts, Opportunities, and Criminal Enterprise is a much-needed assessment of criminal activity.
Carlo Morselli is a professor in the School of Criminology at l'Universite de Montreal.