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Kidnap – Inside the Ransom Business - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Kidnap: Inside the Ransom Business

Anja Shortland


Every year thousands of people are kidnapped for ransom. Their families, friends, or employers are forced into a fiendishly complex and harrowing transaction with violent criminals to retrieve them. How do you agree a ‘fair’ price for a loved one—who may be tortured or killed as you deliberate? How do you securely deliver a sack of cash to the criminals’ lair? What compels kidnappers to uphold their end of the bargain after payment? Well-off individuals, profitable firms, and international NGOs operate surprisingly safely in areas of high and extreme kidnap risks. Many of them have bought kidn ... More

Keywords: kidnap for ransom, hostage trade, insurance, Lloyd’s, protection theory, private governance, mafias, organized crime, counterterrorism

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780198815471
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2019 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198815471.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Anja Shortland, author
Reader in Political Economy, King's College London