The relationship between organized crime and politics around the world has become akin to symbiotic. The self-interested complicity between political actors and organized criminal networks is undermining the most basic compact between citizens and the state, and in the worst of cases has caused massive human insecurity. Public goods comprise a core element of this social contract. In turn, service delivery is an integral part of the citizen–state relationship.
This report explores how and why organized crime becomes involved in service delivery, and how this affects the relationships between the state and citizens. It draws on a wide range of examples to illustrate some of the ways in which organized crime has captured service delivery in different parts of the world. Case studies from Afghanistan, Colombia and Somalia illustrate organized crime’s engagement in service delivery.