Criminal networks: methods, theories, findings


Bio: "I currently hold a position of Presidential Fellow at the department of criminology and the Mitchell Centre for Social Network Analysis at the University of Manchester. I also collaborate with the department of sociology, Faculty of Arts at Charles University and with the Centre for Modelling of Biological and Social Processes. Besides that, I am a co-founder of Czech Network for Social Network Analysis, through which we regularly organize workshops and conferences. My research focuses mainly on social network analysis (SNA), most prominently statistical models for network data, and on analytical sociology and criminology. I am interested in the application of SNA, mainly to criminal networks, but also to political, organizational, health-related, or historical networks. I find the study of structure and dynamics of human networks to be intriguing and crucial for our understanding of social reality. Besides network analysis and sociology (and science in general), I enjoy reading science fiction & fantasy books, lifting heavy weights, listening to heavy music, taking long walks, and playing various card games."

In this session; we will introduce the intersection between criminology and social network analysis - the study of criminal networks. Specifically; we will talk about how can social network analysis be used to understand and empirically map serious and organized crime. After briefly introducing the key terminology; we will have a look at how to identify the most central actors in criminal networks. Subsequently; we will introduce the analytical tools for describing criminal networks and also see how it can be related to the way criminal networks operate. We will then discuss how to analyse the evolution of criminal networks over time. Since criminal network analysis has some promises for application in law enforcement; we will discuss both its benefits as well as pitfalls. We will conclude the session with critically reflecting the biggest limitation of the study of criminal networks – data availability and validity.