Dr. Jonathan Rosen, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice in the School of Arts and Sciences, and his co-author, Hanna Samir Kassab, released their latest collaborative book, Corruption, Institutions, and Fragile States. The book was published by Palgrave Macmillan. They previously published Drugs, Gangs, and Violence in September 2018.
Rosen and Kassab attempted to understand the linkages between corruption, state fragility, organized crime, and violence by focusing on the role of institutions and exploring the issues of state weakness and impunity.
“In this work, my co-author and I examine the nature of corruption, which plays an important role in facilitating criminal activities,” Rosen said. “We concentrate on the relationship between state fragility and corruption. States plagued by high levels of corruption and impunity serve as ideal places for drug cartels, gangs, and other criminal groups. In this book, we look at corruption in different regions around the world, including Central Asia and the Middle East, Africa, Mexico and Central America, Russia, and Eastern Europe.”
The pair also looked at institutional reform as a possible avenue for solving some of these issues.
“It’s not possible to reform one institution, but rather, what is known as a ‘whole-of-government’ approach is required,” Rosen said. “We focused on the need for major reforms among the police forces as well as the judicial system in many of the cases that we explored. In addition, the penitentiary system in many places around the world is in dire need of reform. In Latin America, for instance, prisons often function as schools of crime and fail to rehabilitate prisoners.”
Rosen also published “Rethinking the Mechanisms of Gang Desistance in a Developing Country” in the journal Deviant Behavior alongside co-author José Miguel Cruz. Amanda Gurecki, a criminal justice major, also provided comments and edits and is mentioned in the acknowledgment.
“In this article, José Miguel Cruz and I examined the different mechanisms for leaving a gang in a violent context, such as in El Salvador, among MS-13 and the 18th Street gang,” Rosen said. “During our research with gang members, we noticed that the mechanisms for leaving a gang in El Salvador are quite different than the United States. There is a plethora of literature on how to leave a gang in the United States, however, we found that the process is entirely different. Most gang members in the United States just leave the gang because of various push and pull factors, for example, marriage, the birth of a child, incarceration, etc. In this article, we explore these mechanisms and suggest that there is a need to reconsider them. In summary, we attempted to make a theoretical contribution in addition to providing more information about how MS-13 and the 18th Street operate.”