Building trust and using violence within a drug dealing network in Austria

  • Meropi Tzanetakis


This chapter explores how a network of upper-level drug dealers in Austria is organised with regard to the role of trust and violence. For approaching the subject matter, an in-depth qualitative case study was applied. On the one hand, the analysis focuses on mechanisms used for building trust and loyalty, on the other hand the role of using violence for settling disputes and for resolving conflicts was taken into account. Interestingly, physical violence was used only in one case, whereas several cases of threats against individuals from the network and from competitors were mentioned. Furthermore, I conclude that trust and loyalty seem to be required skills for successful drug dealing. Building trust and loyalty helped avoiding conflicts, and each actor involved in the network benefited from longlasting business relationships. For example, as soon as the couriers (people who were recruited for transporting hashish) proved themselves to be trustworthy, they were introduced to the source of supply and allowed to perform a complete drug transport independently. The couriers were also provided with higher compensation for their commitment. This research is one of the few empirical studies in the field of upper-level drug dealing for German speaking countries.


Illicit Drug Organize Crime Physical Violence Drug Trafficking Drug Market 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Wiener Zentrum für sozialwissenschaftliche SicherheitsforschungVicesseWienÖsterreich

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