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Governing the Mafia: Criminal Groups and Political Power in Eastern Sicily

Antonio Vesco
Università degli Studi di Siena
Antonio Vesco
Università degli Studi di Siena
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Abstract

Many studies of the Sicilian mafia show that the relationship between mafia families and different segments of the state apparatus is not episodical but structural, producing a complex form of sovereignty. Since 2008, Sicily was ruled by Raffaele Lombardo, leader of the Movimento per le Autonomie (MpA), a new political party founded by politicians deeply rooted in the city of Catania and its province. In 2013, Lombardo's government was forced to resign, accused of collusion with one of the most important local mafia families. Based sustained ethnographic research carried out among local political activists and the city councilmen of the MpA, this paper illustrates the social consensus between the party and members of the local mafia. The organizational field in which politicians, entrepreneurs and criminals are involved is here investigated taking into account the shared codes which constitute a system of “real governance”.