Thoroughly modern mafia: how organised crime embraced technology — but not female gangsters
Posted: 25 Jul 2017

Mafia Life by Federico Varese reviewed by Chris Harvey in The Telegraph.

'Democracy and free markets are intimately connected to organised crime, notes Federico Varese in his wide-ranging exploration of global mafias. Authoritarian regimes don’t scruple to stamp out their power, he explains, while democracies often come up short.

Powerful mafias emerged in Sicily, Japan and Russia as their societies underwent a sudden transition to the market economy, abetted by weak legal structures. When the Soviet Union collapsed, Varese suggests, the West was focused on the rush to privatisation, when it should have been helping to strengthen legal institutions. It was a costly error.

Varese has been studying organised crime for more than two decades and has worked as an adviser on the Russian mafia to John le Carré on his 2010 novel Our Kind of Traitor. In Mafia Life, he digs deep into the culture and practices of Japanese Yakuza, Hong Kong Triads, the Sicilian Mafia and their Italian-American counterparts, as well as post-Soviet criminal gangs.'

-from Harvey's review

Further information

Federico Varese is Deputy Head of Department, Taught Courses Director (2017-18), Professor of Criminology, Director of EXLEGI