Transnational Organized Crime

The critical comments are essentially longer versions of the weekly paragraphs. They are two-page commentaries in which you will follow/answer the prompt for the paragraphs for that particular week. You will then locate an international news story on that topic, or on a topic which intersects with that issue in perhaps an unforeseen manner. The specific instructions for completing the paragraphs that week must be addressed in your analysis. You should also cite the readings as much as possible in your assessment.


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This assessment is worth 16% of your overall grade or 8% per critical comment. A 5-point penalty will be assessed for each day, or fraction thereof, that it is late.

Submission Format:

Both papers will be submitted to both the Critical Comment assignment tab for the chosen week AND posted within the chosen weeks’ discussion forums. The assignment can be accessed within the weekly module. This is a SafeAssign assignment. Please review the Notice on Plagiarism in the syllabus before submitting your paper.

Due Date:

Critical comments are due on the Sunday of the Module for the week they cover. A 5-point penalty will be assessed for each day, or fraction thereof, they are late.


Students must complete two 1,000-word or 2-page (max.) critical comments on two different sessions’ readings. The critical comments for the chosen weeks will use the same prompts used for writing those weeks’ paragraphs. The difference is that the critical comments are two pages long rather than two paragraphs. The comment should follow/answer the prompt for the paragraphs for that week (all the readings for a session must be read in order to ensure the critical comment is as thorough as possible). The critique should also use a current news article and relate the chosen reading to this recent real-world exemplar.

At least one of the critical comments must be submitted during the first half of the semester (through session 6). The second critical comment must be submitted for the second half of the semester or Weeks/Modules 7-13. (There will be no critical comments for Module 14 as this is when you will be completing your term paper). Please ensure you provide the URL for the news stories so that the professor and your classmates may read them.

Choose a reading from Module One to Six (Critical Comment #1) and another reading from Module Seven to Thirteen (Critical Comment #2). Please note: there will be no critical comments for Module 14.

To sign-up for the week for which you would like to submit a critical comment, go to the Critical Comment Sign-Up tab on the left menu and follow the instructions.


Each critique will be worth 8 points or 8% of the final grade. They must be tightly written, analytic prose that demonstrates attention to detail. Grades will be taken off for spelling and grammatical errors. Those pieces that address/answer closely the prompts for the paragraphs for that week will receive the highest grades. In these assignments you should also demonstrate that you understand the readings, that you are able to assess the strength of their arguments, and that you can relate the topic to an international news story on that topic. It is insufficient to simply write a summary of the article and then attach a news story at the end. Please refer to the guidance for the weekly paragraphs for the week you choose to write a critical comment and follow those guidelines.

To receive full-credit, the critical comments must:

address the prompts used for that week’s paragraphs
write no more than two pages
demonstrate a sound analysis of the readings
demonstrate a clear relationship between the readings and the current international news story
be tightly-written, analytic prose
be free from spelling, grammatical and syntax errors

Week 3 Critical Comment

Question: Examine a state that falls on the spectrum of Miklaucic and Naim’s state criminalization. Discuss how the state engages in or colludes with transnational organized crime. You may use one of the required or recommended readings to support your points or you may choose to analyze the aspects and degree of criminalization of another state entirely. Also use an international news story to support your points. Please ensure you include the URL for the news story so it may be found by your peers and the professor.

Your response should show your understanding and ability to analyze what you have read.


Galeotti, Mark “Crime and Crimea: Criminals as Allies and Agents” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 3 November, 2014.
Kan, Paul Rexton et. al. Criminal Sovereignty: Understanding North Korea’s Illicit International Activities (Carlisle, PA: Strategic Studies Institute, March 2010), pp. 1-16.
Kemp, Walter “Chapter Three: Crime and Governance” Crooked Kaleidoscope: Organized Crime in the Balkans (Geneva: The Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime), June 2017, pp. 15-25.
Miklaucic, Michael and Moises Naim “The Criminal State” in Michael Miklaucic and Jacqueline Brewer eds., Convergence: Illicit Networks in the Age of Globalization (Washington, D.C.: NDU Center for Complex Operations, 2013) pp. 149-169.
Please let me know if you cant find any of these sources.

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