Socio-economic Studies of the Mafia
Chapter 1 offers a theoretical discussion about mafia emergence. It suggests that the existing literature, centring on the theoretical framework of supply and demand for mafia services, oversimplifies the process of mafia emergence. The mafia phenomenon, including the Chinese mafia, must be understood within a country’s particular culture, incorporating historical and political analysis. In order to understand the rise of mafia in contemporary China, this book establishes a new theory—the ‘socio-economic theory of mafia emergence’—by combining Gambetta’s economic theory and Granovetter’s notion of social embeddedness. In other words, it incorporates local conditions—the negative effects of guanxi practice—into the discussion of state failure and the rise of extra-legal protectors. In addition, this chapter outlines major contributions made by this book to the literature and discusses the way in which the author dealt with fieldwork challenges.
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