Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 19 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The Sicilian Cosa Nostra, the Calabrian ’Ndrangheta, and the Neapolitan camorra—in short, southern Italian mafia organizations—are frequently seen as the epitome of organized crime. Unlike other crime groups, they not only engage in profit-making criminal activities but also exercise quasi-political functions in their areas of settlement, heavily influencing local political and economic life. Cosa Nostra and the ’Ndrangheta are also are large-scale and century-old criminal organizations. The chapter singles out four traits that characterize mafia organizations in Italy and distinguish them from other, looser forms of organized crime present in Italy and elsewhere: 1) longevity; 2) organizational and cultural complexity; 3) their claim to exercise a political dominion over their areas of settlement—a claim that has over the decades been at least partially recognized by the local population and parts of the official government; and 4) their ability to control legitimate markets.

Keywords: organized crime, southern Italy, Cosa Nostra, Campania, Sicily, ’Ndrangheta, camorra

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.