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Varese F., 2012, The Structure and
the Content of Criminal
Connections: The Russian Mafia in
Italy, European Sociological ...
What is the article investigating?
1. Why do organized crime groups establish
foreign outposts?
2. Do these groups have a ...
What data is the article based on?
• The Solntsevskaya crime group – founded in Moscow in
mid 1980s.
• Merged with other c...
1. Findings: motives for establishing
foreign outposts
• Widespread belief among scholars that
contemporary crime groups i...
• Article finds that in case of Solntsevskaya
crime group, Yakovlev fled to Rome as a result
of fear of being killed in Mo...
2. Findings: do groups have a flat
internal structure?
• Recent contributions to the sociology of
organized crime suggest ...
2. Findings: do groups have a flat
internal structure?
• Circles: Nodes representing
nationals from former USSR.
• Squares...
3. Findings: Interactions within the
network
• Using ‘content analysis’ – Varese looked at the
purpose of each phone call ...
Conclusion:
1. The Solntsevskaya crime group established
itself abroad due to pressures at home, not
to take advantage of ...
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The Structure and the Content of Criminal Connections: The Russian Mafia in Italy - Federico Varese (Social Network Analysis)

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The Structure and the Content of Criminal Connections: The Russian Mafia in Italy - Federico Varese (Social Network Analysis)

  1. 1. Varese F., 2012, The Structure and the Content of Criminal Connections: The Russian Mafia in Italy, European Sociological Review By Mark Moore
  2. 2. What is the article investigating? 1. Why do organized crime groups establish foreign outposts? 2. Do these groups have a non-traditional, flat internal structure, lacking ‘centres of gravity’? 3. How do orders and information pass through the network?
  3. 3. What data is the article based on? • The Solntsevskaya crime group – founded in Moscow in mid 1980s. • Merged with other criminal organisations. By end of 1990s was one of the most powerful Eurasian organized crime groups in the world. • Ivan Yakovlev, key player in group, attempted to open an outpost in Rome in mid 1990s. • Russian-Mafioso turned state witness informed FBI of Yakovlev’s presence in Rome, who informed Italian police. • Launched investigation and data collected has been used for the analysis in this article (phone taps).
  4. 4. 1. Findings: motives for establishing foreign outposts • Widespread belief among scholars that contemporary crime groups intentionally take advantage of globalisation by opening foreign outposts. • E.g. ‘Take advantage of attractive labour or raw material markets, so do illicit business’ (Shelley, 2006: p.43)
  5. 5. • Article finds that in case of Solntsevskaya crime group, Yakovlev fled to Rome as a result of fear of being killed in Moscow. • He concludes from this that Mafia groups ‘find themselves abroad as a consequence of pressure at home’ (Varese 2012: p.8), rather than rationally deciding to expand abroad. 1. Findings: motives for establishing foreign outposts
  6. 6. 2. Findings: do groups have a flat internal structure? • Recent contributions to the sociology of organized crime suggest that the internal structure of organized crime groups are now flat, lacking ‘centres of gravity’.
  7. 7. 2. Findings: do groups have a flat internal structure? • Circles: Nodes representing nationals from former USSR. • Squares: Nodes representing Italians. • Size of node depends of number of people person is in touch with. • Arrows indicate actors who are in phone contact. • Shows group does have hierarchical structure. Three actors have a high degree of connection. • Network is highly centralized around a few individuals (centres of gravity). • Outpost was ‘polycentric’ rather than flat.
  8. 8. 3. Findings: Interactions within the network • Using ‘content analysis’ – Varese looked at the purpose of each phone call e.g. economics investments (51.7%), group management (22.8%), resource acquisition (18.9%). • Found that orders come from Yakovlev – the Boss, and then a few trusted individuals, including his wife and right hand man, relay the information through the network.
  9. 9. Conclusion: 1. The Solntsevskaya crime group established itself abroad due to pressures at home, not to take advantage of globalization. 2. Group was centered on a few key actors, thus outpost was polycentric, not flat. 3. Orders come from the Boss, and are then passed by a few key, trusted individuals to the rest of the network.

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