Italian Mafias Today
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Italian Mafias Today

Territory, Business and Politics

Edited by Felia Allum, Isabella Clough Marinaro and Rocco Sciarrone

Despite a rapidly changing economic and legal landscape, Italian mafias remain prominent actors in the global criminal underworld. This book provides an extensive and up-to-date view of how they adapt to shifting economic opportunities and intensifying legal and civic backlash.
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Chapter 13: Italian mafias across Europe

Joselle Dagnes, Davide Donatiello and Luca Storti


This chapter examines how Italian mafias - especially the ‘Ndrangheta - have been able to expand internationally, into several other European countries. It seeks to provide a precise mapping of Italian mafia presence abroad and connects the empirical data with theoretical debates about the territorial expansion of such groups. It demonstrates that their international presence is neither unique nor stable over time, investigating the forms that mafias assume abroad, the type of expansion to which they give rise, and their persistence over time. It thereby focuses on four dimensions: 1) mafias’ economic activities (illegal and legal); 2) their organisational structure in international contexts); 3) the degree of embeddedness and cooperation achieved with politicians, entrepreneurs and other actors abroad; and 4) the relationship with the home territory. This approach underlines the complexities of mafias’ expansion processes, evolving over time and involving different micro and macro mechanisms.

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