Date of Award

January 2011

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Justice Studies

First Advisor

Gary W. Potter

Department Affiliation

Justice Studies


This research project is an examination of the organization and behavior of criminal group activity in the region of West Africa. An assessment of the size, structure, and type of criminal enterprises crime groups are involved in are investigated. It is also uncovered if and how groups make use of corruption, the legit economy, and influence politicians. The environment in which transnational crime is able to thrive is also of great interest as the social, political, economic, and technological changes that occurred alongside the sudden trend in transnational crime activity are considered. The information is used to generate a discussion about the nature of transnational crime and why it continues to flourish in this particular area. Finally the question is raised if whether there is an alternative way to try and understand the reality of transnational crime and the individuals involved.