Evolution of a drug trafficking network: Mapping changes in network structure and function across time

David Anthony Bright, Jordan J. Delaney

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

There is a growing body of research using social network analysis to study criminal networks. The great majority of this research examines networks at a single time point. Although there are theoretical approaches which hypothesise on how criminal net- works develop and grow, little empirical research has been conducted on the growth of criminal networks over time. This project documents the growth of a drug trafficking network. The aims were to examine and describe structural and functional changes in a criminal network across time. We found that the density of the network remained some- what stable over time, although the network became more decentralised at the final time point measured. Centrality scores for individual nodes showed significant changes over time. Individuals changed the roles performed across time, consistent with the chang- ing needs and focus of the network. Overall, our results support the characterisation of networks as flexible and adaptive.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Research on Illicit Networks
PublisherRoutledge
Chapter8
Pages120-142
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9781317579762, 9781317579755
ISBN (Print)9781138824652
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes

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