Pirates, bandits, and smugglers have bedeviled governments since time immemorial. Politicians and media today obsess over terrorism and trafficking in drugs, arms, people and money. Far less is said or known, however, about the expanding global reach of the police, prosecutors, and agencies like Interpol and Europol charged with targeting transnational crime. In this illuminating history that spans past campaigns against piracy and slavery to contemporary campaigns against drug trafficking and transnational terrorism, Peter Andreas and Ethan Nadelmann explain how and why prohibitions and policing practices increasingly extend across borders. The internationalization of crime control is too often described as simply a natural and predictable response to the growth of transnational crime in an age of globalization. Andreas and Nadelmann challenge this conventional view as at best incomplete and at worst misleading.
The internationalization of policing, they demonstrate, primarily reflects ambitious efforts by generations of western powers to export their own definitions of "crime," not just for political and economic gain but also in an attempt to promote their own morals to other parts of the world. A thought-provoking analysis of the historical expansion and recent dramatic acceleration of international crime control, Policing the Globe provides a much-needed bridge between criminal justice and international relations on a topic of crucial public importance.
Peter Andreas is Associate Professor of Political Science and International Studies at Brown University. Ethan Nadelmann is Executive Director of the Drug Policy Alliance.