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Mafias on the MoveHow Organized Crime Conquers New Territories$
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Federico Varese

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691128559

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691128559.001.0001

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Mafia Origins, Transplantation, and the Paradoxes of Democracy

Mafia Origins, Transplantation, and the Paradoxes of Democracy

(p.188) Seven Mafia Origins, Transplantation, and the Paradoxes of Democracy
Mafias on the Move

Federico Varese

Princeton University Press

This chapter outlines a general perspective of mafia emergence and transplantation, and offers some considerations on the relation between democracy and mafias. Recent studies have shown that mafias emerge in societies that are undergoing a sudden and late transition to the market economy, lack a legal structure that reliably protects property rights or settles business disputes, and have a supply of people trained in violence who become unemployed at this specific juncture. However, not all mafias have developed during times of market transition. Mafias may well emerge within functioning market economies, and for reasons other than to ensure the protection of property rights. The best way to fight the presence of a mafia is to drain the demand for its services. It is not enough to reform the public administration or liberalize markets, or let booms go unchecked. Liberalization should be accompanied by effective measures aimed at preventing the formation of cartels in local markets and easing the effect of liberalization on the local workforce to avoid social tension.

Keywords:   organized crime, mafia emergence, mafioso, mafia transplantation, democracy, liberalization, cartels, liberalization

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