Do you want to contribute to a better understanding of the organization of cocaine trafficking and human smuggling through the Port of Rotterdam? Do you want to improve the governance of cocaine trafficking and human smuggling together with the public and private actors in the Port of Rotterdam? Do you want to develop innovative tools like interactive models, dynamic heat maps, crime scripts, and serious games to enable governance actors to intervene proactively? Do you want to work with an interdisciplinary research consortium consisting of academics from criminology, anthropology, law, history, mathematics, network science, computing and information sciences, and public and private actors with governance responsibilities in the PoR? Apply to one of 4 PhD positions (4 years) in the research project FORT-PORT (Focusing On the Right Things in the Port of Rotterdam).
FORT-PORT aims to uncover the criminal business processes, modi operandi and criminal networks underlying cocaine trafficking and human smuggling through the Port of Rotterdam. Ultimately, FORT-PORT contributes to a strong, future-proof port that is acclaimed for its security and its resilience against subversive crime, mindful of the potential economic and societal consequences of raising all possible barriers.
FORT-PORT is funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO), with Erasmus University Rotterdam as the main applicant. FORT-PORT is organized in 5 work packages. Work package 1 and 3 offer 4 PhD positions and 2 postdoc positions at Erasmus School of Law. You will collaborate with researchers at TU Delft and Utrecht University as well.PhD project 1 & 2 - Ethnography of illicit flows through the Port of Rotterdam (work package 1a)
Previous research has shed light on the modi operandi of cocaine trafficking in the PoR, the social organisation of human smuggling in the Netherlands, the social embeddedness of organised crime in the Netherlands, and the structural embeddedness of cocaine trafficking in the PoR. We build on these insights by combining different methodologies and theoretical perspectives to advance our understanding of cocaine trafficking and human smuggling via the PoR. More specifically, we aim to uncover the criminal business operations of cocaine trafficking and human smuggling in the PoR, by focusing on:
- modi operandi of drug trafficking and human smuggling based on a crime script analysis that examines why and how offenders use logistical, technological, legal, and financial infrastructures in and around the PoR;
- social organisation of the criminal networks involved in cocaine trafficking and human smuggling, exploring the modes of cooperation between and within the networks, degrees of specialisation and professionalisation within the networks, and the use of violence between or within the networks;
- social embeddedness of cocaine trafficking and human trafficking, describing the ways in which cocaine trafficking and human trafficking are relationally and structurally embedded in and around in the PoR.
In this work package, 2 PhD positions (PhD project 1 & 2) and 1 postdoc (postdoc project 1) positions are available.PhD project 1 - Social embeddedness of the cocaine economy in Rotterdam
Previous research has documented the social embeddedness of cocaine trafficking in the PoR, but also in different neighbourhoods in the city of Rotterdam. The connection of global licit and illicit flows in the PoR serves as a breeding ground for criminal activities, including running criminal errands, collecting cocaine from port sites, and corrupting port employees to facilitate access to spaces or information about licit and illicit flows in the PoR. Building on a research project on drug collectors commissioned by the municipality of Rotterdam, this ethnographic study will provide insights into the dynamics of social embeddedness and social organisation of cocaine trafficking in the PoR, uncovering how and why (young) people get involved in or resist the cocaine economy in Rotterdam.
Supervisor: dr. Robby RoksPhD project 2 - Human smuggling networks and migrant communities
Previous research has shown how human smugglers operate within the migrant communities they offer their ‘services’ to, and how these communities link people in the countries of origin with others living in countries of destination. Starting from Rotterdam and its superdiverse neighbourhoods, this ethnographic study will start by engaging with recently arrived migrants and if relevant their transnational communities. Moving back and forth between these transnational connections will lead to new insights in how human smugglers operate, how they are being motivated and respond to governance measures and how they are embedded in the wider society.
Supervisor: Prof. dr. Richard StaringPhD projects 3 & 4: Scrutinizing the governance of subversive crime in the Port of Rotterdam (work package 3)
The Port of Rotterdam has pioneered public-public and public-private partnerships as well as legislative initiatives and legal proceedings about cocaine trafficking and human smuggling. However, a limited understanding of the bottlenecks, success factors and alternative strategies in combination with a limited ability to implement the lessons learned, stand in the way of improving the governance of subversive crime in the Port. Governance refers to the provision, distribution and regulation of security by public and private actors, specifically focusing on cocaine trafficking and human smuggling. This work package combines an evaluation of the governance partnerships (PhD project 3, postdoc project 2) with the analysis and exploration of different legal avenues (PhD project 4). This work-package will:
- Evaluate past and existing public-public and public-private partnerships on cocaine trafficking and human smuggling in the PoR;
- Provide project-level feedback about bottlenecks and success factors of public-public and public-private governance of cocaine trafficking and human smuggling;
- Develop aggregated feedback about bottlenecks and success factors of public-public and public-private governance of cocaine trafficking and human smuggling to stimulate exchange with other (main)ports in the Netherlands and Europe;
- Identify challenges and shortcomings of the existing criminal, administrative and labour legal framework for cocaine trafficking and human smuggling in the logistic process;
- Provide a multidisciplinary legal analysis of potential new measures to address cocaine trafficking and human smuggling.
This work package aims to improve the governance of cocaine trafficking and human smuggling in and around the port through an action-oriented research strategy which allows for immediate feedback and continuous internalization of learning experiences.
In this work package, 2 PhD positions and 1 postdoc position are available.PhD project 3 - Partnerships in the governance of subversive crime in the Port of Rotterdam
Over the last years, the PoR has forged the sharing of governance responsibilities, both through public-public and public-private partnerships. Previous research of the consortium partners has allowed observing these developments closely. The current, more advanced stage of governance comes with its own challenges about keeping oversight of and learning from past and existing initiatives and about sustainably anchoring what works. Contemporary governance is also about keeping governance structures manageable, which involves continuous trust building and staying abreast of current developments. This project aims to evaluate and strengthen the governance of subversive crime in the port. This project uses nodal-networked governance as its analytical framework and takes an action-oriented approach that combines literature review, semi-structured interviews meeting observations, reflection meetings.
Supervisors: prof. Lieselot Bisschop & Prof. Karin van WingerdePhD project 4 – Normative framework for governing subversive crime
Public and private actors in the PoR have been at the core of legal developments and legal proceedings about cocaine trafficking and human smuggling. There have been developments in applicable criminal law f.e. the new provision on ‘uithalers’, art. 138aa Criminal Code)), in investigative tools for police and public prosecutors, as well as in administrative legal approaches that are of relevance to the port. An evidence-based evaluation of these legal developments is lacking. The question as to how the wide availability of legal responses supports the governance of subversive crime remains unanswered. Through an action-oriented methodological and legal design, this project analyses and explores these different legal avenues with a focus on criminal and administrative law, and provides a normative legal evaluation of the strategies on subversive crime that will be developed in other work packages of FORT-PORT.
Supervisor: prof. Pieter Verrest