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Felia Allum and David Bright

This chapter presents an overview of the presence of Italian mafias in Australia and compares the very different social and economic behaviours of the ‘Ndrangheta and the Neapolitan Camorra in that country. It considers the interplay of structural factors, contexts and conditions, drivers, facilitators and characteristics which have resulted in the ‘Ndrangheta becoming a territorially and politically rooted mafia in parts of Australia, while Camorra groups use it as a ‘marketplace’ in which to generate profit (exported to Italy) rather than for long-term settlement. On the basis of these case studies, the chapter problematises some of the existing theories on mafia expansions outside their territories of origin.

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David A. Bright and Carolien van Ham

This chapter explores the connections between organised crime groups and politics in Australia. There is considerable evidence of intersections between organised crime groups, including mafia groups and ethnic crime gangs, and politics at both state and federal levels in Australia. The interconnections include: (1) assassinations of politicians which have been linked to organised crime groups, especially those involved in drug trafficking; and (2) allegations of mafia ‘fundraising’ for political parties. The chapter analyses the interconnections between organised crime groups and politics in Australia, and locates them within the Australian socio-political context.