From Bikers to Gangsters: On the Development of and the Public Response to Outlaw Biker Clubs in Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic


Over the past decades, outlaw biker clubs have become widely labeled as organized crime groups. The current chapter analyzes the interplay between the increasing internationalization of outlaw biker clubs, outlaw biker involvement in organized crime, their self-created dangerous image and the dominant policies to tackle outlaw biker related crime. It is argued that the approach to outlaw bikers in Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium has increasingly focused on outlaw biker clubs rather than individual members, including groups copying their appearance. This trend of monitoring and tackling clubs is characterized by utilizing responsibilization strategies and pro-active administrative measures in light of risk management and crime prevention ideologies. Whereas the very first biker clubs in Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium were generally tolerated, the currently existing clubs are confronted with an all-encompassing zero-tolerance approach.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOutlaw Motorcycle Clubs and Street Gangs
Subtitle of host publicationScheming Legality, Resisting Criminalization
EditorsTereza Kuldova, Martin Sánchez-Jankowski
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages30
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-76120-6
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-76119-0
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018

Publication series

SeriesPalgrave Studies in Risk, Crime and Society

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