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Political Research Exchange - PRX

How Mafia Works: An Analysis of the Extortion Racket System

Attilio Scaglione
university of Palermo
Antonio La Spina
University Luiss Guido Carli
Giovanni Frazzica
University of Palermo
Valentina Punzo
University of Palermo
Attilio Scaglione
university of Palermo

The paper aims to analyze the phenomenon of extortion in a traditional area in which a mafia-type organization is embedded. The work stems from the activities carried out by the European Project GLODERS (Global Dynamics of Extortion Racket Systems). The empirical basis for the analysis consists of a data-base on racketeering in Sicily containing more than 200 cases of extortion as evidence coming from judicial proceedings and interviews to entrepreneurs. A study of extortion as well as the analysis of its spreading requires a complex collection of data and information about the properties of criminal organizations and socio-economic and cultural aspects of territorial contexts on the other. Hypotheses on individual criminal groups, their internal social networks as well as their concrete rules of conduct in the management of extortion will be discussed.
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