Hidden power: the strategic logic of organised crime

Hidden power: The strategic logic of organised crime book cover

Event details


Date & time

Thursday 04 August 2016


Phillipa Weeks Staff Library, College of Law, Building 5, Fellows Road,
ANU Canberra


James Cockayne


ANU College of Law
+61 2 6125 0454

Additional links

In this meet-the-author book seminar, James Cockayne, Head of the New York Office of the United Nations University, will introduce his new book Hidden Power: The Strategic Logic of Organised Crime (Hurst/OUP, 2016). Rod Broadhurst of the College of Arts and Social Sciences and Ramesh Thakur of the Crawford School of Public Policy will then play the role of discussants, sharing their views on the book.

Hidden Power: The Strategic Logic of Organized Crime reveals criminal mafias determining political outcomes to suit their own agendas, and explores how they do it – by influencing elections, changing constitutions, fomenting terrorism, waging war, negotiating peace deals and working behind the scenes in pivotal historical moments such as the Second World War and the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Drawing on unpublished government documents and mafia memoirs, James reveals a century of forgotten political-criminal collaboration in New York, Sicily and the Caribbean and explains how such links persist globally, from the drug wars in Mexico, to smuggling routes in West Africa, to political instability in Russia, Ukraine and Central Asia.

Described as a ‘landmark’ study (Prof Sir Lawrence Freedman (King’s College London) and Prof Mark Shaw (Global Initiative on Transnational Organized Crime)) and an ‘analytical tour de force’ (by Prof John Ruggie),Hidden Power forces us to rethink distinctions between politics, conflict and crime, and reveals a world in which states and mafias compete — and collaborate — for power.

Please register for this event here.

This event is jointly presented by the Centre for International and Public Law, College of Law and the College of Asia and the Pacific’s Centre for International Governance and Justice and Asia Pacific College of Diplomacy.

About the Author

Dr James Cockayne is a strategist, international lawyer and author. He is Head of Office at the United Nations for UN University (UNU), a global thinktank created by the UN General Assembly. He is also Vice-Chair of the International Legal Foundation, and has been Chair of the Editorial Committee of the Journal of International Criminal Justice. He was previously a Senior Fellow at the International Peace Institute, Co-Director of the Center on Global Counterterrorism Cooperation, and Principal Legal Officer in the Transnational Crime and Extradition Units of the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department. Dr. Cockayne is the author of Hidden Power: The Strategic Logic of Organised Crime (Hurst/OUP, 2016).

About the Discussants

Professor Rod Broadhurst is Foundation Professor of Criminology at ANU College of Arts and Social Science. He was Chief Investigator at the Australian Research Council Centre for Excellence in Policing and Security (ANU node) and was previously affiliated with RegNet. His research examines transnational organized crime in a broad range of contexts, including cyber-space and developing countries. His most recent book is Violence and the Civilising Process in Cambodia (Cambridge University Press, 2015, with Thierry & Brigitte Bouhours).

Professor Ramesh Thakur is Director of the Centre for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (CNND) in the Crawford School, The Australian National University and co-Convenor of the Asia-Pacific Leadership Network for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (APLN). He was Vice Rector and Senior Vice Rector of the United Nations University (and Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations) from 1998–2007. The author or editor of 50 books and 400 articles and book chapters, Prof. Thakur serves on the international advisory boards of institutes in Africa, Asia, Europe and North America, and is the Editor-in-Chief of Global Governance (2013-18). His recent books include The Oxford Handbook of Modern Diplomacy (Oxford University Press, 2013); Nuclear Weapons and International Security (Routledge, 2015) and Theorising the Responsibility to Protect (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015).

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