Our Standing Group on Organised Crime, in cooperation with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, recently concluded a ten-day intensive Winter School in Vienna, hosting 40 participants from 19 countries.
As with previous SGOC schools in Catania 2009, Leuven 2010, and Ohrid 2011, Vienna 2019 aimed to enhance interactions between scholars and practitioners, and to encourage the formation of professional networks.
Participants deepened their knowledge of transnational organised crime and the existing national and international containment policies, and were invited to critically reflect on a range of cross-cutting issues relating to laws, organised crime theory and research methods on cyber-enabled crime, corruption, and terrorism.
Programme highlights included guest lectures by UNODC officers and visits to various international organisations, including the International Organization of Migration, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, and the Austrian chapter of the Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime, among others.
SGOC’s collaboration with the UNODC in organising the Winter School gave participants direct access to UNODC experts and allowed them to contribute to the Education for Justice (E4J) initiative, a component of the Doha Declaration Global Programme, which emphasises education as a key element in promoting a culture of lawfulness and respect for the rule of law.
The SGOC Winter School was also supported by John Jay College of Criminal Justice, UBICOMP and the Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies of the University of Bath.
'The Winter School has been an enormously enriching and intellectually stimulating experience. Paired with interactive workshops, lively and enthusiastic participant discussions, social events and visits to the OSCE, IOM, and cognate non-governmental organisations, it offered a fantastic venue to not only explore, learn, and reflect but to also to form invaluable and lasting professional relationships across institutions and academic disciplines.'
— Joanna Rozpedowski, Durham University
'I had a full immersion experience into the important work UNODC has been doing to counter transnational organised crime. The different disciplinary backgrounds of Winter School participants in criminology, international relations, sociology, archaeology, and economics, among other fields, enriched my own research and made me consider career options I had no idea were available to me.'
'Not only did we receive theoretical knowledge about organised crime, we also met practitioners working at UNODC and other international organisations and could learn from them about the inner workings of the global fight against transnational organised crime, corruption and terrorism.'
— Lorenzo Picarella, University of Milan
'The SGOC Winter School was an unforgettable experience for me. Not only did the programme prepare me for my career path, it also allowed me to make long-lasting friendships. I was able to interact with like-minded individuals and was exposed to topics that I had not been aware of previously.'
— Zaria Goicochea, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY
Keywords: Organised Crime