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The Russian Mafia: Private Protection in a New Market Economy


  • Varese, Federico

    (Nuffield College, Oxford, and Visiting Professor, Department of Political Science, Yale University)


What is the Russian Mafia? This unique book thoroughly researches this question and challenges widely-held views. The author charts the emergence of the Russian Mafia in the context of the transition to the market, the privatization of protection and pervasive corruption. The ability of the Russian State to define property rights and protect contracts is compared to the services offered by fragments of the state apparatus, private security firms, ethnic crime groups, the Cossacks and the Mafia. Past criminal traditions, rituals and norms have been resuscitated by the Mafia of today to forge a powerful new identity and compete in a crowded market for protection. The book draws on and reports of undercover police operations, in-depth interviews conducted over several years with the victims of the Mafia, criminals and officials, and documents from the Gulag archives. It also provides a comparative study, making references to other Mafia (the Japanese Yakuza, the Sicilian Cosa Nostra, American-Italian Mafia and the Hong Kong Triads). Available in OSO:

Suggested Citation

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

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    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Szelenyi, Ivan, 2010. "The New Grand Bourgeoisie under Post-Communism: Central Europe, Russia and China Compared," WIDER Working Paper Series 063, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    2. repec:kap:pubcho:v:171:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11127-017-0437-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. José Noguera & Susan J. Linz, 2006. "Barter, credit and welfare," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 14(4), pages 719-745, October.
    4. Cayli Baris, 2012. "The Impossible Mission: Global Justice Movement Against Transnational Organized Crime," New Global Studies, De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 1-26, May.
    5. Giuseppe De Feo & Giacomo Davide De Luca, 2017. "Mafia in the Ballot Box," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 134-167, August.
    6. Klaus von Lampe & Per Ole Johansen, 2004. "Organized Crime and Trust:: On the conceptualization and empirical relevance of trust in the context of criminal networks," Global Crime, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(2), pages 159-184, May.
    7. Federico Varese, 2005. "How Mafias Migrate: The Case of the `Ndrangheta in Northern Italy," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _059, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    8. Branko Milanovic & Karla Hoff & Shale Horowitz, 2010. "Turnover In Power As A Restraint On Investing In Influence: Evidence From The Postcommunist Transition," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(3), pages 329-361, November.
    9. Janine Aron, 2003. "Building institutions in post-conflict African economies," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(4), pages 471-485.
    10. repec:wsi:jdexxx:v:14:y:2009:i:03:n:s1084946709001272 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Pär Gustafsson, 2013. "The emergence of the rule of law in Russia," Global Crime, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(1), pages 82-109, February.
    12. Karla Hoff & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 2008. "Exiting a Lawless State," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(531), pages 1474-1497, August.
    13. Leeson, Peter T., 2010. "Pirational choice: The economics of infamous pirate practices," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 497-510, December.
    14. Catherine Hafer & Ethan Bueno de Mesquita, 2005. "Commitment Problems and the Political Economy of States and Mafias," 2005 Meeting Papers 812, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    15. Anja Shortland, 2010. "The Business of Piracy in Somalia," Weekly Report, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 6(23), pages 182-186.
    16. Serguey Braguinsky & Roger Myerson, 2007. "A macroeconomic model of Russian transition," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 15(1), pages 77-107, March.
    17. repec:eee:ecmode:v:68:y:2018:i:c:p:514-528 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Cortney S. Rodet, 2016. "Social Order in a Fragile State: Rio's Favelas," Economic Affairs, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(3), pages 309-317, October.
    19. Vayrynen, Raimo, 2003. "Illegal Immigration, Human Trafficking, and Organized Crime," WIDER Working Paper Series 072, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    20. Carlo Capuano & Massimiliano Giacalone, 2018. "Measuring Organized Crime: Statistical Indicators and Economics Aspects," EERI Research Paper Series EERI RP 2018/11, Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels.
    21. Ethan Bueno De Mesquita & Catherine Hafer, 2008. "Public Protection Or Private Extortion?," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(1), pages 1-32, March.
    22. Roger Myerson & Serguey Braguinsky, 2005. "Oligarchic Property Rights and Investment," 2005 Meeting Papers 49, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    23. Corinna Elsenbroich & Jennifer Badham, 2016. "The Extortion Relationship: A Computational Analysis," Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, vol. 19(4), pages 1-8.
    24. 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.

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