Brown bear trafficking in Europe: examining the political ecologies of green-collar crime

The aim of this research project is twofold; it seeks to examine the dynamics of the brown bear trade in Europe and to understand the role played by various actors involved in the process.

This research project, led by Dr. George Iordachescu, will be analysing the dynamics of brown bear trade in Europe. 

George will address the following research questions:

  • Which are the genealogies, actors and modi operandi of brown bear trafficking in the region? 
  • What are the connections, if any, between the recent changes in legislation and an increase in the trafficking of brown bears on the continent?
  • How does poor or uncertain scientific knowledge impact the illegal trade in brown bears in Europe?
  • To what extent do legally registered businesses enable the trafficking of brown bears in the region? Are these forms of green-collar crimes connected to other types of environmental crimes and harm?

The research project will concentrate on Slovakia and Romania, two EU member states that host important brown bear populations (Ursus arctos), but it will also include stakeholders and actors working at regional or international levels. The research will produce both theoretical frameworks and empirical data needed to better understand the under-researched practice of brown bear trafficking within Europe.