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 Nordic Party Members: Linkages in Troubled Times, Edited by Marie Demker, Knut Heidar, and Karina Kosiara-Pedersen

The Evolution of Issue Definition: Organised Crime on the European Agenda

European Union
 
Organised Crime
 
Public Policy
 
Presenter
Leticia Elias
Departments of Political Science and Public Administration, Universiteit Leiden
Authors
Leticia Elias
Departments of Political Science and Public Administration, Universiteit Leiden
Arco Timmermans
Departments of Political Science and Public Administration, Universiteit Leiden

Abstract
A large number of studies on organized crime (OC) has shown that there is no consensus on the definition of this phenomenon. In the political sphere, this is manifest in the different ways in which policy makers set and frame this issue on the political agenda. In the European Union (EU), organized crime lacks a homogeneous definition and variations in the portrayal of this problem among European institutions are manifest. Looking at the European Council and the European Commission, this contribution analyzes how OC has been understood and defined by these bodies between 1975 and 2011. The paper identifies the prevailing frames at different levels of political attention paid by each venue to the issue, and compares changes in issue definition on OC over time, by means of quantitative and qualitative analysis of core policy documents from a policy framing perspective and based on the Punctuated Equilibrium Theory.
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