The project is divided into four Work Packages (WPs) – see Figure 1. WP1 is responsible for the collection and collation of quantitative and qualitative data from case studies of Extortion Racket Systems, and for assembling existing knowledge about ERSs worldwide. Much of the data obtained by WP1 will not be immediately usable for analysis and modelling, since it will be in the form of text (as documents, interview transcripts etc.) and in a number of languages. It will be the responsibility of WP2 to examine these data and devise strategies and methods for converting it into formats that are useful to WP3.
The processed data will be used by WP3, which forms the theoretical and modelling core of the project. WP3 will characterise the various forms of Extortion Racket Systems and set up agent-based models to simulate the dynamics of these systems. This will involve modelling the normative systems generated by the racket systems to constrain their members, which will be done using an adaptation of a modelling framework using cognitive agents that has been developed by the partners in previous FP7 projects, and rule sets derived from the data processed in WP2.
Concurrently with these activities, WP4, which is responsible for ‘knowledge exchange’ between the project and stakeholders, will inform and influence the theoretical work, will develop scenarios based on the results flowing from the work packages, and will provide a stakeholder perspective on the project’s findings. WP5, Management, will encompass all the management duties required to keep the project on track and provide reports to the Commission.