Gangs, migration, and crime: The changing landscape in Europe and the USA

Scott Decker, Frank Van Gemert, David C. Pyrooz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


The history of gangs is intertwined with migration. In America, a number of classic studies have reported on the possible causal link between immigration, socio-economic position, social disorganization, and gang formation. More recently in Europe, the impact of migration on gangs reflects a complex mix of factors that also includes cultural and media influences. In addition, there are other contextual factors such as immigration and population movement that have received less attention, yet condition the relationship between structural factors and the formation of gangs. Processes such as immigration, migration, and resettlement have had an important impact on the transmission of gangs on an international, national, and local scale, often enhanced by the impact of immigration. This article examines the relationship between immigration, culture, and gangs and contrasts European and US research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)393-408
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of International Migration and Integration
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2009


  • Comparative criminology
  • Ethnic culture
  • Eurogang Research Program
  • Gangs
  • Immigration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology


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