Edited by Felia Allum and Stan Gilmour
Sweden represents an unlikely case for the development of mafia-like organisations: the state is strong with a relatively well-functioning legal system; the political institutions are stable, trust in government is widespread, bureaucratic ethics are strong, and associational life is vibrant. Yet, in a relatively short time, starting in the early 1980s, organised crime has established its power structure in Södertälje, a medium-sized city near Stockholm. In September 2014, the Svea Court of Appeal in Stockholm confirmed the existence of a criminal organisation that had an extensive power structure with ramifications intopolitics and the welfare sector. This chapter analyses the so-called ‘Syriac mafia’ and its relationship with the welfare state and politics at the local level in the city of Södertälje.
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