Start Date: 2012-10-01

End Date: 2015-09-30


The GLODERS research project is directed towards development of an ICT model for understanding a specific aspect of the dynamics of the global financial system: Extortion Racket Systems (ERSs). ERSs, of which the Mafia is but one example, are spreading globally from a small number of seed locations, causing massive disruption to economies. Yet there is no good understanding of their dynamics and thus how they may be countered. ERSs are not only powerful criminal organizations, operating at several hierarchical levels, but also prosperous economic enterprises and highly dynamic systems, likely to reinvest in new markets. If stakeholders - legislators and law enforcers - are to be successful in attacking ERSs, they need the much better understanding of the evolution of ERSs that computational models and ICT tools can give them.

GLODERS will provide a theory-driven set of computational tools, developed through a process of participatory modelling with stakeholders, to study, monitor, and possibly predict the dynamics of ERSs, as they spread from local through regional into global influence.

The research will draw on expertise already developed in the small, but highly experienced multidisciplinary consortium to use:
- computer-assisted qualitative text mining of documentary evidence;
- guided semi-automatic semantic analysis of stakeholder narratives and other textual data; and
- multi-level, stakeholder-centred agent-based modelling of the distributed negotiations between normative agents.
These methods will advance the state of the art for using data to inform policy decisions.

Throughout, the project will interact with a large, international group of stakeholder representatives from EU Ministries of Justice and police forces. The output will provide a set of ICT tools to facilitate strategic policies that could prevent the further penetration and extension of the global menace posed by ERSs.

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