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The Chinese MafiaOrganized Crime, Corruption, and Extra-Legal Protection$
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Peng Wang

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198758402

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198758402.001.0001

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Socio-economic Studies of the Mafia

(p.3) 1 Introduction
The Chinese Mafia

Peng Wang

Oxford University Press

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.

Keywords:   definition, guanxi, local conditions, mafia emergence, protection, research methodology, social embeddedness

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