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United, yet divided: analysing the cohesion of Addiopizzo’s anti-racketeering campaign in Palermo


  • Carina Gunnarson


This article analyses the cohesion of Addiopizzo’s anti-racketeering campaign in Palermo, Sicily. By supporting entrepreneurs who refuse to pay for protection and by encouraging consumers to support these companies through their consumer power, Addiopizzo has mobilised about 900 companies and 11,000 citizens. Taking social capital theory as a point of departure, this article explores the values of trust and norms of reciprocity among entrepreneurs who joined Addiopizzo’s anti-racketeering campaign. In addition, it analyses their solidarity with colleagues who are victims of extortion. Shared values express a stronger commitment to a movement, reinforce internal solidarity, strengthen the collective identity and reduce the risk of free riders and dropouts. The article reveals not only similarities but also important differences between various groups of joiners. The analysis builds on a unique data-set consisting of questionnaires collected from 277 entrepreneurs who joined the campaign between 2005 and 2011.

Suggested Citation

  • Carina Gunnarson, 2015. "United, yet divided: analysing the cohesion of Addiopizzo’s anti-racketeering campaign in Palermo," Global Crime, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(2), pages 139-161, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:fglcxx:v:16:y:2015:i:2:p:139-161
    DOI: 10.1080/17440572.2015.1013210

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Varese, Federico, 2001. "The Russian Mafia: Private Protection in a New Market Economy," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198297369.
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