Mark Shaw

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Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime

Research Profile

Public safety and urban violence; security sector and criminal justice reform; transnational organised crime

Mark is the Director of the Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime , an Adjunct Professor at the University of Cape Town, and Senior Associate of the LSE International Drug Policy Unit, (LSE US Centre).

He was previously the National Research Foundation Professor of Justice and Security at the University of Cape Town, Department of Criminology. Prior to joining UCT, Mark was a Director at a boutique consulting firm specialising in fragile states and transnational threats. Mark lead projects and provided technical assistance to national governments, bilateral donors and international organisations in Libya, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, West Africa, the Sahel and Southern Africa, on security sector and criminal justice reform, and countering transnational threats.

Mark worked for ten years at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), including as Inter-regional Advisor, Chief of the Criminal Justice Reform Unit and with the Global Programme against Transnational Organised Crime, with extensive field work. A South African national, before joining the UN, Mark held a number of positions in government and civil society where he worked on issues of public safety and urban violence in the post-apartheid transition. He holds a PhD from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg and has published widely on organised crime, security and justice reform issues.

South Africa

M. Shaw and K. Thomas (2017) ‘The commercialisation of assassination in South Africa, 2000-2015’, African Affairs, Volume 116, Issue 465.

M. Shaw and L.L .Skywalker (2016)‘The Hammermen: Life and death as a gang hitman in Cape Town’, Howard Journal of Criminal Justice , Vol 54, Issue 4.

M. Shaw (2016) ‘A tale of two cities: mafia control, the night time entertainment economy and drug retail markets in Johannesburg and Cape Town, 1985-2015’, Police Practice and Research, 17 (4).

M. Shaw, ‘UNGASS 2016: The focus on harm reduction is making us blind to the broader harms of organised crime,’ in After the Drug Wars, London: LSE Ideas, 2016.

A. Kriegler and M. Shaw, A Citizen’s Guide to Crime Trends in South Africa, Johannesburg: Jonathan Ball, 2016.

M. Shaw, ‘“WE PAY, YOU PAY”: Protection economies, financial flows and violence’, in Beyond Convergence. Washington DC: National Defense University, 2016.

M. Shaw and F. Mangan, Profits and Losses: Illicit economies and emerging patterns of organised crime as obstacles to peace and state consolidation in Libya, Washington DC, United States Institute of Peace, 2013

M. Shaw and T. Reitano, The Evolution of Organised Crime in Africa: Towards a new response, Institute for Security Studies, April 2013

W. Kemp, M. Shaw and A. Boutellis, The Elephant in the Room: How can Peace Operations Deal with organized Crime? New York, International Peace Institute, June 2013

T. Reitano and M. Shaw, The End of Impunity? After the Kingpins, what next for Guinea Bissau? Institute for Security Studies Policy Brief, June 2013

M. Shaw and T. Reitano, ‘Cocaine Politics in Guinea-Bissau: The link between drug trafficking and political fragility and its wider implications’, Columbia Journal of International Affairs, January 2013

M. Shaw and W. Kemp, Spotting the Spoilers: A guide to analysing organised crime in fragile states, New York, International Peace Institute, New York, 2012

M. Shaw, Leadership Required: Drug trafficking and the crisis of statehood in West Africa, ISS Policy Brief No. 37. October 2012

M. Shaw, Know your Enemy: An Overview of Organized Crime Threat Assessments, International Peace Institute, Issue Brief, October 2011

M. Shaw, ‘Organised crime in Africa’, in P. Reichel and J. Albanese (eds), Handbook of Transnational Crime and Justice, London, Sage, 2013

M. Shaw, ‘Drug trafficking and the development of organized crime in post-Taliban Afghanistan’, D. Buddenberg and W. Byrd (eds), Afghanistan’s Drug Industry: Structure, Functioning, Dynamics and Implications for Counter-Narcotics Policy, Washington DC,
World Bank, 2007