Federico Varese

Deputy Head of Department, Taught Courses Director, Professor of Criminology, Director of EXLEGI

Research Areas: Crime.

Member of

Member of Research Streams

  • Research methods
  • Crime, violence and governance

Email: Federico Varese

Tel.: 01865 281150

Website: Personal Website

Federico Varese joined the University in 2003. In 2006, he obtained the title of Professor of Criminology. Previously, he was Assistant Professor of Sociology at Williams College and William H. Orrick Visiting Professor at Yale University. Formerly a Prize Research Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford, he obtained a D.Phil in Sociology from the University of Oxford in 1997. He holds a degree in Political Science from Bologna University and an M.Phil. in Social and Political Theory from King's College, Cambridge. His main research interests are the study of organised crime, corruption, Soviet criminal history, and the dynamics of altruistic behaviour. He is currently working on the application of network analysis to criminal behaviour and the rescue of persecuted minorities during the Nazi occupation of Europe.

He has published papers in Law and Society Review, Archives Européennes de Sociologie, Political Studies, Cahiers du Monde Russe and Rationality & Society, and book chapters in edited volumes. His book, The Russian Mafia (Oxford University Press 2001), won the Ed Hewitt Prize of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies in 2002 and has appeared in Dutch and Polish. His new book, Mafias on the Move, appeared in 2010. He is also the editor of the journal Global Crime.

Research interests: Organized crime; the application of social network analysis to the study of criminal groups; migration and mafias; theories of action.


Mafias on the Move: How Organized Crime Conquers New Territories
Varese, F. (2011)
(Princeton University Press).

Reviewed in:The Financial Times (John Lloyd); Business Week; Freakonomics blog; Wall Street Journal; La Repubblica (Roberto Saviano);The Financial Times Magazine (Tim Harford); Times of India;London Review of Books (Misha Glenny); La Stampa; L'espresso; Times Literary Supplement; Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung; Dag og Tid [Norway]; Sole 24 Ore; Il Riformista; Gazeta C [Macedonia]; Public Choice; Narcomafie; Gazzetta di Parma; La Nuova Ferrara; Zoomsud.it; Quaderni di Sociologica; American Journal of Sociology (Mike Levi); Rassegna Italiana di Sociologia; British Journal of Criminology; European Sociological review; Choice; Birikim Dergis [Turkey]; Thriller Magazine; Belfagor

Italian translation:
Le Mafie in Movimento: Come il crimine organizzato conquista nuovi territori
Varese, F. (2011)
(Turin: Einaudi 2011).

Organized Crime
(series: Critical Concepts in Criminology), 4 vols

The Russian Mafia. Private Protection in a New Market Economy
Varese, F. (2001)
(Oxford University Press)
Paperback edition, 2005

Dutch translation:
De Russische Mafia
Varese, F. (2004)
Amsterdam : Meulenhoff, paperback, 320 pp, 2004.

Polish translation:
Mafia rosyjska
Varese, F. (2009)
Prywatna ochrona w nowej gospodarce rynkowej, paperback, 368 pp., 2009.

Articles in Refereed Journals

The Structure and the Content of Criminal Connections: The Russian Mafia in Italy.
Varese, F. (2012)
Eur Sociol Rev (2012) doi: 10.1093/esr/jcs067
First published online: July 11, 2012, European Sociological Review.

How Mafias Take Advantage of Globalization. The Russian Mafia in Italy.
Varese, F. (2011)
British Journal of Criminology. doi: 10.1093/bjc/azr077

Mafia movements: a framework for understanding the mobility of mafia groups
Varese, F. (2011)
Global Crime 12(3) pp 218 -231

Listening to the wire: criteria and techniques for the quantitative analysis of phone intercepts.
Paolo Campana and Federico Varese. 2011
rends in Organized Crime, 14(2)

The Secret History of Japanese Cinema: The Yakuza Movies
Varese, F. (2006)
Global Crime 7:1.

How Mafias Migrate
Varese, F. (2006)
Law and Society Review. 40:2, pp. 411-444.

La mafia russa in Italia
Varese, F. (2005)
Limes. Rivista Italiana di Geopolitica, 12(1), pp. 229-239.

Resolute Heroes: the Rescue of Jews during the Nazi Occupation of Europe
Varese, F. with Yaish, M. (2005)
Archives Européennes de Sociologie, pp. 153-168.

Struktura mafioznykh gruppirovok
Varese, F. (2004)
Panorama Issledovanij Politiki Prikam'ya 2, pp 157-167

Payment, Protection and Punishment: the Role of Information and Reputation in the Mafia
Varese, F. with Smith, A. (2001)
Rationality and Society, pp. 387-431.

The Importance of Being Asked. The Rescue of Jews in Nazi Europe.
Varese, F. with Yaish, M. (2000)
Rationality and Society, pp. pp. 307-324.

The Society of the Vory-v-Zakone, 1930s-1950s
Varese, F. (1998)
Cahiers du Monde Russe, 1998, pp. 515-538. Reprinted in M. Galeotti (ed.), Russian and Post-Soviet Organized Crime (Aldershot, UK: Ashgate), 2002, pp. 7-30

Is Sicily the future of Russia? Private protection and the rise of the Russian Mafia
Varese, F. (1994)
Archives Européennes de Sociologie, 1994, pp. 224-258. Reprinted in Archives Européennes de Sociologie, 40th Anniversary Issue, 42:1 (2001), pp. 186-220 and in M. Galeotti (ed.), Russian and Post-Soviet Organized Crime(Aldershot, UK: Ashgate), 2002, pp. 173-207

Articles in Journals

I riots di Londra tra mistificazioni e analisi empirica.
Varese, F. (2012),
Lo Straniero 140, pp. 40-46 [In Italian]

Quante Mafie
Veronesi, P. (2011)
Intervista a Federico Varese Lo Straniero, 137, pp. 50-60. [in Italian]

Dove non c'e' governo c'e' mafia. Intervista a Federico Varese.
Narcomafie, Luglio/Augosto, pp. 19-21 [In Italian]

The Sopranos? No, the Shepherds
Varese, F. (2006)
The Times (London), April 14, p.25.

L’omicidio di Anna Politkovskaja nella Russia di Putin’Lo Straniero, November (English Version)
Varese, F. 2006

Pretty Babies
Varese, F. 2005
Times Literary Supplement, March 8, p. 23.

Has Fascism returned to Italy?
Varese, F. 2005
Italian Politics & Society, 60 (Spring), pp. 87-90.

Messages from the Mafia
Varese , F. (2005)
London Review of Books, January 6, 31-32. Expanded and translated in Italian as:‘Berlusconi Visto dagli Inglesi (e dalla Luna)’, Lo Straniero, 57 (2005), pp. 20-27. Reprented in Il Dialogo, April 2005.

Great Mobility
Varese, F. (2004)
Times Literary Supplement, July 2, pp. 6-7. Translated in Italian as: ‘La mafia oltre il folklore’, Lo Straniero 59 (2005), pp. 36-41.

Russia e America al paragone.
Varese, F. (2003)
Lo Straniero, 32, pp. 93-102.

There is no place like Home. How the mafia finds it difficult to expand from its geographical base
Varese F. (2001)
Times Literary Supplement, February 23, pp. 3-4. (See also, F.V., ‘Letter: The Mafia in Sicily', TLS, April 20, p. 19.).

Translated in Italian as:
Casa Dolce Casa. La Mafia tra localizzazione ed espansione
Lettera Internazionale, March 2002, pp. 50-52.

Translated in Rumanian as:
Mafii de-acasa si mafii de export
Lettre Internationale-Edi?ia român?, Spring 2003, pp. 116-117

Articles in Books

What is Organized Crime?
Varese, F. (2010)
Introduction to F.V. (ed.),Organized Crime (series: Critical Concepts in Criminology), 4 volls. Routledge, pp. 1-35.

Mafia Transplantation, in J. Kornai, B. Rothstein, and S. Rose-Ackerman (eds.)
Varese, F. (2004)
Creating Social Trust: Problems of Post-Socialist Transition. New York : Palgrave-Macmillian, pp. 148-166.

Varieties of Protectors, in A. Amin and N.J.Thrift (eds.)
Varese, F. (2004)
The Blackwell Cultural Economy Reader, Oxford : Blackwell Publishing, pp. 145-163.

'Clientelism', 'Corruption', 'Mafia', 'Principal-Agent Problem', 'State Capture', in I. McLean (ed.)
Varese, F. (2003)
Oxford Dictionary of Politics, 2nd ed. Oxford-New York: Oxford University Press.

Pervasive Corruption, in A Ledeneva and M Kurkchiyan (eds.)
Varese, F. (2000)
Economic Crime in Russia, pp. 99-111.


Réponse au rapport La mobilité des groupes criminels. Une réflexion à la lumière de recherches effectuées récemment sur les mouvements transnationaux de la mafia.
Varese, F. 2010.
Préparé pour la Division de la recherche et de la coordination nationale sur le crime organisé, Secteur de la police et de l’application de la loi, Sécurité publique Canada. Rapport no 19, 2010, Sa Majesté la Reine du chef du Canada, 2010 ISBN No : 978-1-100-97024-0.

Selected Reviews

Strictly Business
Varese F. (2008)
Times Literary Supplement, 22.II, p. 27.

The Economics of the Camorra. Review Article
Varese, F. 2006
Global Crime 7:2, pp. 268-273.

Contacts, Opportunities and Criminal Enterprise (2005)
by Carlo Morselli, British Journal of Criminology, 46: 6
Varese, F. 2006

L’udienza e’ aperta (2006) by Vincenzo Marra, Narcomafie, October.
Varese, F. 2006

Russian Organized Crime: The New Threat (1997), edited by P. Williams, Times Literary Supplement, November 7, p. 22
Varese, F. 1997