- Series Information
- The Oxford Handbook of Organized Crime
- List of Contributors
- Organized Crime: A Contested Concept
- Theoretical Perspectives on Organized Crime
- Searching for Organized Crime in History
- How to Research Organized Crime
- The Italian Mafia
- The Italian-American Mafia
- the Russian Mafia: Rise and Extinction
- Organized Crime in Colombia: The Actors Running the Illegal Drug Industry
- Mexican Drug “Cartels”
- Chinese Organized Crime
- The Japanese Yakuza
- Nigerian Criminal Organizations
- Gangs Another Form of Organized Crime?
- Opportunistic Structures of Organized Crime
- Organizing Crime: The State as Agent
- The Social Embeddedness of Organized Crime
- Protection and Extortion
- Drug Markets and Organized Crime
- Human Smuggling, Human Trafficking, and Exploitation in the Sex Industry
- Illegal Gambling
- Money Laundering
- Arms Trafficking
- Organized Fraud
- The Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources
- Organized Crime Control in the United States of America
- U.S. Organized Crime Control Policies Exported Abroad
- European Union Organized Crime Control Policies
- The Fight Against the Italian Mafia
- Organized Crime Control in Australia and New Zealand
- Organized Crime “Control” in Asia: Experiences from India, China, and the Golden Triangle
- Finance-Oriented Strategies of Organized Crime Control
Abstract and Keywords
This essay explores the extent to which six established Mafia groups (The Sicilian Mafia, the `Ndrangheta, the Italian American Mafia, the Hong Kong Triads, the Russian Mafia, and the Yakuza) are criminal organizations specializing in the supply of protection. It presents evidence relating to the nature of Mafia protection, specialization of protectors, and the origins of these six Mafias. It also discusses whether Mafias are instead engaged in extorting their victims and presents evidence of the negative effects of Mafia protection on the economy. The essay concludes that Mafia protection is a genuine commodity in many instances; that protectors tend to specialize; that when major economic transformations are not governed by local and national authorities, they give rise to a demand for protection; and that under certain conditions protectors can turn into purely predatory agents. Mafia protection, even when genuine, is provided without any consideration for fairness, justice, and rights.
Federico Varese is Professor of Criminology at Oxford University. He is the author of two books The Russian Mafia (2005) and Mafias on the Move (2012), the editor of a four-volume collection of papers titled Organized Crime (2010) and many articles in academic journals.
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