The ECPR Standing Group on Organised Crime (SGOC) was established in 2001 in Grenoble at the ECPR Joint Sessions with two main objectives: 1) of becoming a driving force in the study of organised crime in Europe and the world and 2) of trying to break down barriers between the academic world and law enforcement agencies working in this area. It has managed to do both by increasing its membership, regularly meeting at conferences (Grenoble 2001, Marburg 2003 and Pisa 2007) and publishing a monthly newsletter. The ECPR has been very supportive and vital during this phase. Organising a series of summer schools dedicated to the topic of organised crime would seem to be the next logical step for the standing group. We would like to organise three summer schools (2009, 2010 and 2011).

Aims and Objectives of the SGOC Summer Schools
Each year the Summer School will take place in a different European city, hosted by a higher education institution that is well established in the field. In order to do justice to the multitude of issues contained in the study of organised crime and to the shifting challenges regarding its prevention, each Summer School will have a specific thematic focus (see below). We propose that SGOC Summer Schools last two weeks each and consist of five core elements: (1) theoretical-academic lectures by an international team of scholars; (2) presentations by law enforcement agencies and other relevant organisations; (3) group work and workshops; (4) roundtable discussions with scholars and local experts; (5) students’ homework, presentations and discussions. We will also organise excursions to local offices and organisations of interest at each summer school location.

The SGOC Summer Schools have four main aims:

• to bring together about 20 to 30 young researchers (mainly doctoral students from disciplines like political science, criminology, sociology, law, economics) with senior scholars as well as specialised practitioners (civil servants from national Justice and Home Affairs Ministries, representatives from law enforcement agencies and from international organisations focusing on security) in order to integrate students into an international community of scholars and practitioners in this field.
• to elaborate an interesting and avant guard academic programme on organised crime (with some of the top experts teaching and presenting new research findings)
• to encourage in-depth discussion across disciplines and nationalities across Europe in order to produce some new research projects and ideas about the fight against organised crime
• to expand a concrete network/community working in this area.

The learning and teaching process are further supported by acquainting students with the Standing Group on Organised Crime and its information portals (website, newsletter, blog, meetings).

Titles / Locations
We propose to offer a summer school once a year during three consecutive years (2009, 2010 and 2011). The themes suggested for these schools represent crucial, up-to-date and interlinked aspects of organised crime studies. Therefore, the SGOC is firmly committed to realising all three schools.

Summer School One: 2009
Theme: Analysing and Tackling Organised Crime: theories, practices, and policies Planned location: Catania, Italy, in cooperation with the Political Science Department, University of Catania: http://www.fscpo.unict.it/ Date: 29 June - 12 July

Summer School Two: 2010
Theme: Understanding and Fighting Organised Crime in the New Europe Planned location: Leuven, Belgium, in cooperation with the Catholic University of Leuven, Leuven Institute of Criminology: http://www.law.kuleuven.be/linc/english/ Date: 28 June - July 9, 2010.

Summer School Three: 2011
Theme: Organised Crime and New Security Threats Planned location: Ohrid, Macedonia, in cooperation with the University Ss. Cyril and Methodius, Iustinianus Primus Law Faculty Date: 3-16 July, 2011