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The Russian MafiaPrivate Protection in a New Market Economy$
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Federico Varese

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780198297369

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/019829736X.001.0001

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Varieties of Protectors

Varieties of Protectors

(p.55) 3 Varieties of Protectors
The Russian Mafia

Federico Varese (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Chapters 1 and 2 point to the fact that the demand for protection that accompanies the spread of market transactions is met by the Russian state only in part: a significant sector of the business world does not use state-supplied protection services. A demand for alternative sources of protection is then expected to arise. Some authors, especially economists, have been quick to conclude that, since the state does not provide a service, the market inevitably will. It cannot, however, be argued that demand will inevitably be met; a supply of people trained in the use of violence and easily available weapons must also be present. This chapter focuses on the availability of people trained in the use of violence and of weapons, and the varieties of private protectors available in Russia at the time of the transition to the market, ranging from segments of the state apparatus (privately sold state protection), to private security (protection) firms, the internalized protection systems of major economic conglomerates, and criminal groups (banditskaya krysha: krysha, literally ‘roof’, is Russian slang for protection).

Keywords:   banditskaya krysha, criminal groups, economic conglomerates, internalized protection systems, private protection, private security firms, protection, protection services, Russia, state protection services, transition to the market, transitional economy

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