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Beyond Social Capital: Triad Organized Crime in Hong Kong and China

NCJ Number
British Journal of Criminology Volume: 50 Issue: 5 Dated: September 2010 Pages: 851-872
T. Wing Lo
Date Published
September 2010
22 pages
This paper examines triad organized crime in Hong Kong and China.
In view of the smuggling out of democratic leaders after the Tiananmen crackdown in 1989 and China's resumption of sovereignty of Hong Kong in 1997, China applied a 'united front' tactic to recruit Hong Kong triad societies to the Communist camp. Consequently, triad leaders were able to set foot in China and bridge up with officials and state enterprises. Against this backdrop, this paper argues that when political dynamics is involved, both the traditional structural and social network approaches are insufficient to explain triad-organized crime. Therefore, social capital perspective is proposed. Using two case studies, it was discovered that the triad leaders converted the social capital they developed in mainland China into economic capital through illegitimate means in the stock market. The paper concludes by highlighting the similarities and differences between this triad-organized crime and other forms of Chinese organized crime. Figures and references (Published Abstract)