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Mafia Organizations
The Visible Hand of Criminal Enterprise


  • Date Published: February 2019
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108466967

£ 21.99

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About the Authors
  • How do mafias work? How do they recruit people, control members, conduct legal and illegal business, and use violence? Why do they establish such a complex mix of rituals, rules, and codes of conduct? And how do they differ? Why do some mafias commit many more murders than others? This book makes sense of mafias as organizations, via a collative analysis of historical accounts, official data, investigative sources, and interviews. Catino presents a comparative study of seven mafias around the world, from three Italian mafias to the American Cosa Nostra, Japanese Yakuza, Chinese Triads, and Russian mafia. He identifies the organizational architecture that characterizes these criminal groups, and relates different organizational models to the use of violence. Furthermore, he advances a theory on the specific functionality of mafia rules and discusses the major organizational dilemmas that mafias face. This book shows that understanding the organizational logic of mafias is an indispensable step in confronting them.

    • Considers seven mafias around the world: the three Italian mafias, American Cosa Nostra, Japanese Yakuza, Chinese Triads, and Russian mafia
    • Provides a quantitative assessment of the presence and size of mafia organizations around the world
    • Sheds light on how the different mafias organize themselves and how they deal with organizational dilemmas
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Mafia Organizations provides a deep analysis of these crime groups throughout Italy and around the world, capturing the essential fact that they are organizations, coping with the same problems with which all organizations must cope, but under extraordinary circumstances that make them unique, and uniquely interesting. Leveraging comparisons for analytic insight, Professor Catino has written what is not only the best book by a social scientist on organized crime, but a study that will fascinate and inform students of organizational behavior and social organization as well.' Paul DiMaggio, New York University

    'Mafias are complex organizations that face many of the same managerial challenges as legitimate enterprises. Maurizio Catino is well qualified to bring insights from the vast organizational theory literature to understand how Mafias deal with these challenges. While drawing heavily on the many lengthy confessions of members of mafias in Sicily and Southern Italy, a strength of the book is its coverage of mafias in the United States, China and Japan. This is an important addition to the already rich literature on Mafias.' Peter Reuter, University of Maryland

    'Catino offers a fascinating study of the practices of Mafias, making a compelling case for analyzing Mafias from an organizational perspective. With its rich detail and refreshing analytical clarity, the book is an important contribution to our understanding of the role of organized crime in contemporary economies.' Jens Beckert, Director of the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies and editor of The Architecture of Illegal Markets

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2019
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108466967
    • length: 356 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.58kg
    • contains: 26 b/w illus. 12 tables
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. What type of organization are mafias?
    2. Organizational architecture
    3. Organizational orders
    4. Organizational orders and the use of violence
    5. Mafia rules
    6. Mafia organizational dilemmas.

  • Author

    Maurizio Catino, Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca
    Maurizio Catino is Professor of Sociology of Organizations at the Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca, and Visiting Scholar in the Department of Sociology at New York University. His writing has been published in Organization Studies, European Journal of Sociology, Scandinavian Journal of Management, and Cognition Technology and Work, amongst others. His most recent book is Organizational Myopia (Cambridge, 2013).

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