South East Europe’s diaspora: The dark side

South East Europe’s diaspora: The dark side

Wednesday, 8 May 2019 - 5:00pm
Seminar Room, European Studies Centre, 70 Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6HR
Elizabeth David-Barrett (University of Sussex)
Edrin Gjoni (Home Office)
John Howell (JH&Co)
David Madden (St Antony’s College, Oxford)
David Madden (St Antony’s College, Oxford)

This seminar will examine the dark side of the diasporas of South East European countries, and the extent and nature of their potential involvement in organised crime and corruption. Dr Liz David-Barrett, Director of the Sussex Centre for the Study of Corruption, and a Senior Lecturer at the University of Sussex, will look  at the issues from a broad and conceptual perspective, mapping out the mechanisms which connect organised crime and corruption, and highlighting the opportunities and challenges faced by diasporas in each case. Edrin Gjoni, Community Engagement Officer for the Albanian community in the Home Office, will talk about the cultural mindset of the certain segments of the diaspora which facilitate informal and structured criminal networks. John Howell, founder of JH& Co, will address the criminal justice statistics on UK crime involving West Balkans nationals. These suggests that individuals involved are more likely to come from certain regions than others, and that specialisation in markets and methods are again linked to area of origin. He will ask whether these are accurate insights into crime patterns and regional variations or whether they result from other factors e.g. investigation bias.

Elizabeth David-Barrett joined the University of Sussex in 2014, following four years at Said Business School and two years in the Department of Sociology at the University of Oxford. Liz has a DPhil in Politics from Oxford, an MA in Slavonic and East European Studies from the University of London, and a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (Oxford). Liz previously worked for London think tanks the Institute for Public Policy Research and the Centre for European Reform, political risk consultancy Oxford Analytica, and worked in Croatia and Hungary as a journalist, reporting for The Economist, the Financial Times, the BBC World Service and Business Central Europe.  

Edrin Gjoni is currently leading on Immigration Enforcement engagement with the Albanian diaspora in the UK. With Albanian organised crime being one of the priorities of the UK’s National Security Council, it is imperative that UK institutions forge strong partnerships with the diaspora to address some of the issues and challenges we face together. Edrin’s role is to build bridges, inform and educate the diaspora about the work of the Immigration Enforcement and the wider Home Office. By challenging myths and providing the right information he aims to empower community members to make informed decisions that would have positive impact for their future. He also encourages the healthy elements of the diaspora to take a more prominent and leadership role within it. Edrin previously worked at the Fraud Investigation Service of the Department of Work and Pensions. Prior to joining the Civil Service, Edrin worked in the third sector, leading in projects in North Albania, focusing on poverty reduction, as well as offering emotional and spiritual support to some of the most remote and disadvantaged communities in the country. 

John Howell studied Modern History at Oxford and worked in shipping, political research (Greek Accession to the EC) and with Accenture before entering the banking industry. A former Managing Director of Nomura's Berlin-based privatization and corporate finance operations, he subsequently led one of the world's largest 'AAA' development agency borrowing programs. Since founding JH&Co. Ltd in 1992, he has advised on financial market strategies, development institution operations, integrity issues and governance. John specialises in reducing the risk of policy failure. He was a founder member of the National Audit Office's Expert Panel on Better Regulation. He has undertaken a number of independent reviews including for UK regulators, the European Council and the European Commission. John has authored the ICC Guide to the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing as well as a number of articles and papers on Impact Analysis.