Handbook of Organised Crime and Politics
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Handbook of Organised Crime and Politics

Edited by Felia Allum and Stan Gilmour

This multidisciplinary Handbook examines the interactions that develop between organised crime groups and politics across the globe. This exciting original collection highlights the difficulties involved in researching such relationships and shines a new light on how they evolve to become pervasive and destructive. This new Handbook brings together a unique group of international academics from sociology, criminology, political science, anthropology, European and international studies.
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Chapter 2: Sweden: organised crime, politics and civil society

Carina Gunnarson and Amir Rostami


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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