Jana Arsovska

Jana Arsovska

Jana Arsovska
Assistant Professor
Phone number: 
Room number: 
NH 3257s


2009 PhD
2004 MA
2003 BA
Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium)
Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium)
American University of Thessaloniki (Greece)


Dr. Jana Arsovska, a native of Macedonia, is an Assistant Professor at the Sociology Department at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, the City University of New York in New York. She teaches International Criminology, Crime & Justice in the Balkans, International Criminal Justice, Research Methods, and other courses. She holds PhD degree in Criminology from Leuven University in Belgium where she studied the role of cultural codes in the evolution of ethnic Albanian organized crime groups. Dr. Arsovska has published extensively on Balkan organized crime and human trafficking in scholarly journals and intelligence magazines, and is the co-editor/author of the book Restoring Justice After Large-Scale Conflict: Kosovo, Congo and the Israeli-Palestinian Case (Willan Publishing, 2008). Her most recent book Decoding Albanian Organized Crime: Culture, Politics, and Globalization was published in 2015 (University of California Press). Dr. Arsovska is involved in qualitative research on organized crime, and has conducted prison studies on related topics in Europe and the United States. Her main research interests include transnational organized crime, including human trafficking, with focus on South East Europe (e.g., Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, etc.) and West Africa, radical Islam in the Balkan region, and applications of transitional and restorative justice mechanism in the Balkan region (e.g., Kosovo, Bosnia-Herzegovina). Dr. Arsovska has acted as a consultant on organized crime for several organizations, including the World Bank. Prior to her current post, she underwent training at INTERPOL’s criminal analysis unit. Dr. Arsovska is the recipient of the National Institute of Justice’s 2012 W.E.B. Du Bois Fellowship for research examining the relation between migration and transnational organized crime. Her study, focusing on ethnic Albanian immigrants in New York City, seeks to examine how organized crime groups operate across territories. Dr. Arsovska is the recipient of numerous honors and awards including McNamara Junior Faculty Award, Scholarly Excellence Award, McNair’s “Above and Beyond Mentor” of the Year award, and others. 


Selected works:

  • Arsovska, J. (In Progress). Strategic Mobsters or Deprived Immigrants? Testing the Transplantation and Deprivation Models of Organized Crime in an Effort to Understand Criminal Mobility and Diversity in the United States, Research in Crime and Delinquency (under review).
  • Allum, F. & Arsovska, J. (In Progress). Comparing criminal mobility: the case of the Neapolitan Camorra and Albanian organised crime. International Political Sociology (under review).
  • Arsovska, J. & Michilli, A.* (In Progress). Perceptions of Ethnic Albanians Immigrants in Western Societies. Ruthless Mobsters or Hardworking Migrants? European Review of Organised Crime (accepted).
  • Arsovska, J. & Temple, M.* (In Progress). Organizational Learning, Adaptation, and Rationality: The Expansion of Albanian Organized Crime in New York City. Crime, Law and Social Change (under review).
  • Arsovska, J. (2014). Introduction: Illicit Firearms Market in Europe and Beyond. European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research, 20(2): 295-305 (DOI: 10.1007/s10610-014-9254-6).
  • Arsovska, J. & Allum, F. (2014). Introduction: Women and Transnational Organized Crime. Trends in Organized Crime (Special Issue), 17(1-2):1–15 (DOI 10.1007/s12117-014-9223-y).
  • Arsovska, J. (2014). The “G-local” Dimension of Albanian Organized Crime: Mafias, Strategic Migration and State Repression. European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research, 20(2): 205-223  (DOI 10.1007/s10610-014-9236-8).
  • Arsovska, J. & Zabyelina, Y. (2014). Irrationality, Liminality and the Demand for Illicit Firearms in the Balkans and the North Caucasus. European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research, 20(3): 399-420 (DOI: 10.1007/s10610-014-9231-0).
  • Arsovska, J. & Begum, P.* (2013). From West Africa to the Balkans: Exploring Women’s Roles in Transnational Organized Crime. Trends in Organized Crime, 17(1-2): 132-161 (DOI 10.1007/s12117-013-9209-1).
  • Zabyelina, Y. & Arsovska, J. (2013). Rediscovering corruption’s other side: “bribing for peace” in post-conflict Kosovo and Chechnya. Crime, Law and Social Change (DOI10.1007/s10611-013-9446-x).
  • Arsovska, J. and Basha, D. (2013). Globalizing the Western Balkans: Transnational Organized Crime, Radical Islam and Unholy Alliances, Etudes Caribéennes, 22 (23 pages).
  • Arsovska, J. & Kostakos, P. (2008). Illicit arms trafficking and the limits of rational choice theory: the case of the Balkans. Trends in Organized Crime, 11(4), 352-387.
  • Arsovska, J. (2008). Decline, change or denial: human trafficking activities and EU responses in the Balkan Triangle. Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice, 2(1), 50-63.
  • Arsovska, J. (2008). Interviewing serious offenders: Ms Egghead meets Mr Gumshoe. Trends in Organised Crime, 11(1), 42-58.
  • Arsovska, J. & Verduyn, P. (2008). Globalisation, conduct norms and “culture conflict”: perceptions of violence and crime in an ethnic Albanian context. British Journal of Criminology, 48(2), 226-246.
  • Arsovska, J. (2006). Understanding a “culture of violence and crime”: the Kanun of Lek Dukagjini and the rise of the Albanian sexual-slavery rackets. European Journal of Crime, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice, 14(2), 161-184.
  • Arsovska, J. (2006). Gender-based subordination and trafficking of women in ethnic-based context, The upward revaluation of the Kanun morality. Kolor-Journal Moving Communities, 6(1), 3-19.
  • Arsovska, J. & Craig, M. (2006). ”Honourable” Behaviour and the Conceptualisation of Violence in Ethnic-based Organised Crime Groups: An Examination of the Albanian Kanun and the Code of the Chinese Triads. Global Crime, 7(2), 214-256.


Chapters in scholarly edited volumes:

  • Arsovska, J. (In Progress). Politics, Corruption, and Organized Crime in the Republic of Macedonia. In Allum, F. and Gilmore, S. (2015). The Politics of Organized Crime. London: Rutledge (forthcoming, 2015-2016).
  • Arsovska, J. (2013). Organized Crime. In Albanese, Jay (ed.) (2013). Encyclopedia of Criminology & Criminal Justice (12 pages). New York: Wiley-Blackwell.
  •  Arsovska, J. (2013). Bosnia and Herzegovina: Where International Wars, Transnational Crime and Shady Politics Meet. In Svante Cornell and Michael Jonsson (eds.), Political Economy of Armed Conflict in Euroasia (pp. 151-177). Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania Press.
  • Arsovska, J. (2012). Researching Difficult Populations: Interviewing Techniques and Methodological Issues in Face-to-Face Interviews in the Study of Organized Crime. In Gideon Lior (ed.) The Handbook of Survey Methodology in Social Sciences (pp.397-415). The Netherlands: Springer.
  • Arsovska, J. (2011). Ethnicity, mobility and transnational organized crime. In Felia Allum and Stan Gilmour (eds.), Handbook on Transnational Organized Crime (pp. 307-322). NY: Routledge.
  • Arsovska, J. (2011). Conceptualizing and studying organized crime in a global context: Possible? Indispensible? Superfluous? In Cindy J. Smith, Rosemary Barberet and Sheldon Zhang (eds.), Handbook of International Criminology (pp. 211-225). NY: Routledge.
  • Arsovska, J. (2011). The rise of Balkan organized crime groups. In Mangai Natarajan (ed.), Introduction to International Criminal Justice (pp. 239-247). NY: Cambridge University Press.
  • Arsovska, J. & Kostakos, P. (2010). The social perception of organised crime in the Balkans: A world of diverging views? In Felia Allum, Francesca Longo, Daniela Irrera and Panos Kostakos (eds.), Defining and Defying Organized Crime: Discourse, Perceptions&Reality (pp. 113-131). NY: Routledge.
  • Arsovska, J. & Janssens, S. (2009). Human trafficking and the police: good and bad practices, in Cornelius Friesendorf (ed.), Strategies Against Human Trafficking: the Role of the Security Sector (pp. 169-211). Geneva and Vienna: DCAF and Austrian National Defence Academy.
  • Arsovska, J., Valinas, M. & Fellegi, B. (2008). Prologue to the Kosovo drama: origin, causes and consequences of violent ethno-political conflict. In Aertsen, I. et al., Restoring justice after large-scale violent conflicts: Kosovo, Congo and the Israeli-Palestinian Case, pp. 75-98. UK: Willan Publishing
  • Arsovska, J., Aertsen, I., & Rohne, Holger-C. (2008). Challenging restorative Justice – State-based conflict, mass victimisation and the changing nature of warfare. In Aertsen, I. et al., Restoring justice after large-scale violent conflicts: Kosovo, Congo and the Israeli-Palestinian Case, pp. 3-45.
  • Valinas, M. & Arsovska, J. (2008). Possibilities and limits for restorative justice in the Kosovo case. In Aertsen, I. et al., Restoring justice after large-scale violent conflicts, pp.183-212. UK: Willan Publishing
  • Arsovska, J., Valinas, M. & Vanspauwen, K. (2008). From micro to macro, from individual to state: restorative justice and multi-level diplomacy in divided societies. In Aertsen, I. et al., Restoring justice after large-scale violent conflicts, pp. 444-460. UK: Willan Publishing



  • Arsovska, J. (2015). Decoding Albanian Organized Crime. Los Angeles: University of California Press;
  • Aertsen, I., Arsovska, J., Rohne, C.-H., Valiñas, M. & Vanspauwen, K. (eds) (2008). Restoring justice after large-scale violent conflicts: Kosovo, Congo and the Israeli-Palestinian Case. UK: Willan Publishing.


Principle applicant/investigator (PI/CO-PI):

  • PI: PSC-CUNY Enhanced Award # 67862-00 45 (Migration, Adaptation and Decision-Making in Hostile Environments: Albanian Organized Crime in New York City). Amount received: $11,990;
  • PI: US Department of Justice, NIJ, Du Bois Fellowship 2012, Culture, Migration and Organized Crime: Ethnic Albanian Organized Crime in New York. Amount received: $98,998;
  • PI: PSC CUNY Award 2012, A study of the post-war expansion of Wahhabism and radical Islam in the Western Balkans. Duration: 2012-2013. TRADA-43-625. Amount received: $3,465;
  • PI: PSC-CUNY Grant 2010 (Field work in the Balkans). Amount received $2,500. Duration: 2009-2010;
  • European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) (Project: SGOC Summer Schools on Organized Crime: Italy, Belgium and Macedonia). Amount received $18,000 ($6,000 per summer school). Duration: 2009-2011;
  • EU Commission funded project (Co-applicant: Catania University Italy) (Project: Supplementary Grant for the Three Summer Schools on Organized Crime). Amount received $100,000. Duration: 2009-2011.
  • Open Society Institute (OSI) & Soros Foundation, Global Supplementary Grant Program (PhD Project: The role of cultural codes in the evolution of ethnic Albanian organized crime groups). Amount received $15,000 ($5,000 per year for 3 years). Duration 2006-2009 (project completed);
  • Catholic University of Leuven Research Council (KUL) (Project: The role of cultural codes in the evolution of ethnic Albanian organized crime groups). Amount received $80,000. Duration 2005-2009 (completed);
  • CERGE-EI: GDN (Global Development Network) (Project: Changing lenses: the meaning of violence and crime in an ethnic Albanian context). Amount received $9,000. Duration 2006-2007 (project completed).

Research interest

Transnational Organized Crime; Human Trafficking; Corruption and Political Crimes

Regions: Balkan region (Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro); West Africa


Organized Crime; Human Trafficking; Corruption; Balkan criminality 

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