Martina’s primary research interest is the yakuza, Japanese criminal syndicates. Her work crosses several academic fields such as criminology, Japanese studies, politics, comparative criminal law, and criminal justice. Her research is widely based on primary sources: ethnography (interviews with yakuza bosses, active and ex-members, investigative journalists), original documents, and statistical data. She is now a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Global Fellow in the Department of Sociology.
Martina's new research project aims to identify the factors that lead to the emergence of new forms of crime when there is a power vacuum left by a declining mafia group, and to address the significant imbalances in the field of mafia studies by including overlooked forms of crime such as the yakuza. She has published articles on Trends in Organized Crime, Global Crime, The Journal of Japanese Law, and is now working on transforming her PhD thesis into a book.