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The Architecture of Illegal MarketsTowards an Economic Sociology of Illegality in the Economy$
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Jens Beckert and Matías Dewey

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198794974

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198794974.001.0001

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Illegal Markets

Illegal Markets

Boundaries and Interfaces between Legality and Illegality

Chapter:
(p.37) 2 Illegal Markets
Source:
The Architecture of Illegal Markets
Author(s):

Renate Mayntz

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198794974.003.0002

The study of illegal markets needs to distinguish illegality from legality, and to relate both to legitimacy. There is no conceptual ambiguity about the distinction between legal and illegal if legality is formally defined. In practice, (formal) legality and (social) legitimacy can diverge: illegal markets are empirically related to organized crime, mafia, and even terrorist organizations, and they interact both with legal markets and the forces of state order. Where legal and illegal action systems are not separated by clear social boundaries, they are connected by what has come to be called “interfaces”: actors moving between a legal and an illegal world, and grey zones of actions that are neither clearly legal or illegal, nor clearly legitimate or illegitimate. Interfaces facilitate interaction between legal and illegal action systems, but they are also sources of tension and can lead to institutional change.

Keywords:   illegal markets, mafia organizations, organized crime, interfaces, legality, legitimacy

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