Polycephalous ‘ndrangheta: crimes, behaviours and organisation of the Calabrian mafia in Australia

While attention to the ‘ndrangheta, the Calabrian mafia, in Australia, has significantly increased in the past two decades, historical records referring to this peculiar manifestation of organised crime in the country date back almost a century. This research is situated in between studies on mafia...

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Published in:The Australian and New Zealand journal of criminology
Main Author: Sergi, Anna (Author)
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
Published: 2019
In:The Australian and New Zealand journal of criminology
Year: 2019, Volume: 52, Issue: 1, Pages: 3-22
Online Access: Volltext (Resolving-System)
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Summary:While attention to the ‘ndrangheta, the Calabrian mafia, in Australia, has significantly increased in the past two decades, historical records referring to this peculiar manifestation of organised crime in the country date back almost a century. This research is situated in between studies on mafia mobility and studies on the nature of mafia-type organised crime in Italy and in Australia. Relying on archival research, fieldwork and focus groups with law enforcement agencies across most Australian jurisdictions, this paper will essentially argue that there is in Australia an on-going criminal system that is made of ethnically hybrid criminal networks - predominantly made of, but not limited to, Calabrian ethnicity. Ethnic solidarity and traditional norms and values of the ‘ndrangheta, embedded in Calabrian migrant culture, provide the roof to these networks’ behaviours and organisation. This paper will discuss how the resilience of this mafia in Australia is linked to the capacity of ‘ndrangheta clans to maintain different heads - to be polycephalous - all differently and equally important: their organisational head is stable and culturally homogeneous, their (mafia-type) behaviours are constant, flexible and rooted in ethnic solidarity, and their activities are very dynamic, but hybrid in their ethnic composition.
ISSN:1837-9273
DOI:10.1177/0004865818782573