Book review

Illegal economies’ module
Autumn 2020

A Book Review
Assignment #1

A book review usually is not just a summary of the book. It is based on your reflections and critical analysis of it.

It is important to keep notes while reading the book:

  • What is the author’s main goal in this book?
  • What are the main points about illegal/informal economic practices? What kind of illegal economic practices are being discussed in the book?
  • What kind of evidence is used in the book to support the main points?
  • What do you think about the style of the book? Easy to read or difficult to follow.

A book review should be structured and have following sections:

  1. Introduction (150 words)
    It is the opening section, where you provide brief information about the author, title of the book, when it has been published and the publisher.
    You should provide the brief overview of the theme (trying to focus on illegal economic practices discussed in the book) and your evaluation of the book here.
  2. Summary of the main points/arguments (850 words)
    You should write a free-flowing summary for all the chapters. Focus on highlighting the illegal economic practices discussed in the book (their definitions, how they are conducted, by whom and under what circumstances). You should also provide a summary of the main arguments concerning the illegal economic practices and their place within the formal economy in here.
  3. Conclusion and evaluation (500 words)
    Tell the reader what you think about the book. Was it interesting to read, useful for understanding illegal/informal economies? What are the book’s greatest strengths and weaknesses from a criminological point of view? Discuss the contribution of the book to the field of illegal economies?

List of books from which you can choose one for your book review assignment
Please let me know if you choose a different book from the list. All the books should be available in our University library.

Andreas, P. (2013). Smuggler nation: How illicit trade made America. Oxford University Press.
Balakrishnan, R. (Ed.). (2002). The hidden assembly line: gender dynamics of subcontracted work in a global economy. Kumarian Press.
Bourgois, P. (2002). In search of respect: Selling crack in El Barrio. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Fleetwood, J. (2014). Drug mules: Women in the international cocaine trade. Springer.
Galemba, R. B. (2017). Contraband corridor: making a living at the Mexico–Guatemala border. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
Henry, S. (1978). The hidden economy: The context and control of borderline crime. London: Martin Robertson. (I have one copy of this book in my personal library)
Hobbs, D. (1988). Doing the business: Entrepreneurship, the working class and detectives in the East End of London. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Hobbs, D., & Hobbs, C. A. (1995). Bad business: Professional crime in modern Britain. Oxford University Press. (I have one copy of this book in my personal library)
Ledeneva, A.V., (2006). How Russia really works: The informal practices that shaped post-Soviet politics and business.
Mars, G. (1982). Cheats at work: An anthropology of workplace crime. London: George Allen and Unwin.
Nordstrom, C. (2007). Global outlaws: crime, money, and power in the contemporary world (Vol. 16). Univ of California Press.

Stephenson, S. (2015). Gangs of Russia: From the Streets to the Corridors of Power. Cornell University Press. (ebook is available)
Watt, P. & Zepeda, R. (2012). Drug war Mexico: Politics, neoliberalism and violence in the new narcoeconomy. Zed Books.

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