Wilson Center Experts

H. Richard Friman

International Security Studies

Security and Defense
Eliot Fitch Chair for International Studies and Professor of Political Science, Marquette University
Wilson Center Project(s):
"Crime by Foreigners: Migrants and the Politics of Internal Security"
Sep 01, 2008
May 01, 2009

In the late 1980s with the completion and pending publication of a revised dissertation on trade policy (Patchwork Protectionism, Cornell 1990), I began a transition away from the mainstream focus of international political economy scholarship into exploring the nature and regulation of illegal/illicit flows of goods, capital, and persons. In addition to the more focused areas of my own research, I have been working with other scholars to integrate the exploration of the underside of the global political economy into the mainstream of the IPE field (e.g., The Illicit Global Economy and State Power, Rowman and Littlefield 1999).I will readily admit that the origins of my 1980s transition had less to do with any grand designs on the future of the field. I was a junior scholar ready to explore something new. Despite the prominence of the "war on drugs" in official and media rhetoric and policy practice, and a rich historical record of earlier incarnations of failed drug wars, few IPE or international relations scholars were exploring international drug control. Fewer still were looking beyond the U.S. prioritization of drug challenges in the Americas. My choice of a different tack led to research on the ways in which advanced industrial countries, especially those which had been the primary targets of drug control efforts earlier in the century, were (selectively) responding to the control agenda being advocated by the United States (NarcoDiplomacy, Cornell 1996). Drugs led me to migration. Or, more accurately, the argument, made with varying degrees of nuance by policymakers and enforcement officials alike to me over the years, that migrants were causing their country's drug problems led me to research on migration. Since the mid-1990s, I have been exploring different facets of the nature and politicization of the relationship between migration and crime. The origins of my project at the Wilson Center lie in Fulbright that took me to Japan to research patterns in and the politicization of drug crime by foreigners. For an array of reasons, this work spilled over into research and publications on issues ranging from immigrant entrepreneurship in post-Fordist drug markets to the dynamics of vacancy chains in criminal organizations and markets as an unintended consequence of selective law enforcement. An invitation to participate in an edited book project on global human smuggling in the late 1990s led to a new facet of research on the politics of human smuggling in East Asia which in turn sparked a research interest in the issue of human trafficking that continues to this day.Since the mid-2000s,with a series of departmental and university administrative responsibilities gradually being left behind and a small academic center exploring issues of transnational justice well underway, I have been able to return to the larger comparative research project exploring the politics and impact of arguments linking migration and crime. I look forward to bringing the project to fruition during my time at the Wilson Center.


B.A. (1979) Indiana University; Ph.D. (1987) Cornell University


  • Founder and Director, Marquette University Center for Transnational Justice, 2004-08
  • Coordinator, Interdisciplinary Major in International Affairs, Marquette University, 1988-1994, 2006-08
  • Chairman, Department of Political Science, 2000-03
  • Visiting Research Scholar (German Marshall Fund and DAAD), Max-Planck-Institute for Foreign and International Penal Law, Freiburg, Germany, 1998
  • Assistant Chair and Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Political Science, Marquette University, 1997-98, 1999-2000
  • Visiting Research Scholar (Fulbright), with the Department of Social and International Relations, University of Tokyo and with the Social Environment Section, National Research Institute of Police Science, National Police Agency,Tokyo, Japan, 1994-95
  • Associate Professor of Political Science, Marquette University, 1993-99
  • Associate Director (Marquette Director), University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee/Marquette University,Title VI National Resource Center for International Studies, 1991-94
  • Director, OPTIONS University Outreach Project on International Security, Marquette University, 1991-94
  • Assistant Professor of Political Science, Marquette University, 1987-1993


International relations; international political economy; illicit global economy (focusing on immigration, human trafficking and smuggling, and drug control policy)

Project Summary

The project examines the processes by which arguments concerning the threat of criminal aliens have emerged and influenced immigration and crime control policies. Through comparative case study analysis of the United States, Japan, and Germany, the project focuses on the paradox of similarities across advanced industrial countries in patterns of rhetoric, policies, and outcomes that have enhanced and eroded internal security. Insights into this paradox lie in cross-national differences in the identity and motivation of the pivotal actors linking immigration and crime.

Major Publications

  • Crime and the Global Political Economy, ed. (Boulder and London: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2009).
  • "Migration and Security: Crime,Terror, and the Politics of Order," in Immigration, Integration, and Security: America and Europe in Comparative Perspective, ed. Ariane Chebel d'Appollonia and Simon Reich, 130-144 (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2008).
  • Immovable Object? Japan's Security Policy in East Asia (coauthored). In Peter J. Katzenstein, ed., Rethinking Japanese Security: Internal and External Dimensions, 133-154 (London and New York: Routledge, 2008).
  • Human Trafficking, Human Security and the Balkans, co-edited (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2007).

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