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: 04 June 2020

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.

Keywords: extortion, protection, origins of Mafias, Sicilian Mafia, `Ndrangheta

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.