PO 343 - Mafia, Society and Politics in Italy

This course focuses on the Mafia phenomenon and its connection with the Italian politics and society. By this way, the course aims at analysing the Italian Mafia from both a political and sociological perspective. The history of the Mafia is studied since its origins and since the formation of the Italian national state. The evolution of the different  Mafia “families” and organizations, including Camorra, Ndrangheta, and Sacra Corona Unita is also studied: so that we will better talk about Mafias, using the plural term. Past and current events signalling the (dangerous) relationship between mafias and Italian politics are objects of analysis, as well as the mafia’s penetration into Italian society. The anti-mafia culture and the reaction by both political institutions and civic society to the mafias are naturally covered. To really comprehend the mafias’ phenomenon and its evolution through time, an understanding of the “mafia world” is also needed. So, the course focuses also on the mafiosisub-culture and analyses the mafia society (including its language, myths, moral codes and behavioural rules). Finally, Italian and American mafias are compared. On completion of the course, students have an overview of the following topics:

  1. The genesis, origins and evolution of the Italian mafias
  2. The similarities and differences between different mafias in Italy
  3. The relationships between mafias and Italian politics
  4. The social structure of the mafias’ organizations 

Course Information


Political Science

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