academic programme of the summer school will focus specifically on the
core competence of organised crime: the provision of protection either
in illegal markets, in which state protection is not available, or in
markets in which the state is unable to provide this commodity
conceptualisation – which has been successfully applied to the analysis
of the Sicilian mafia and of organised crime in other jurisdictions –
places the economic study of organised crime within a nascent field of
economics, namely the study of informal modes of governance, which will
provide the wider focus of the school This field, which dispenses with
the assumption common in economics that all protection services are
provided by the state legal system, explores economic systems in which
the basic state infrastructure to protect property rights, enforce
contracts and resolve disputes is lacking.
aim of the school is to expose the students both to theoretical models
and empirical analyses of organised crime activity in different
markets, countries and historical periods, comparing it with other
forms of extra-legal enforcement. Topics covered include:
Types of protection arrangements
Protected markets and transactions
Optimality of protection arrangements
Protection vs. extortion
Stability and instability in protection markets
The evolution of both formal and informal protection agencies
Self-enforcing vs. other-enforcing arrangements
Protection and corruption
Organised crime, unions and labour markets
The relationship between state, politics and organised crime
The relationship between paramilitary groups and organised crime
Case studies of various historical periods and of contemporary Italy, Japan, Russia, Latin America, and the United States
students’ attention will be drawn also to methodologically difficult
issues concerning data gathering and fieldwork, as well as potentially
interesting research questions in undeveloped areas – among others the
endogeneity of institutions and the dynamics of transition between
alternative governance structures.
The scientific organiser of the course is Diego Gambetta,
Official Fellow at Nuffield College at the University of Oxford.
Gambetta is best known for his work on trust and on the Sicilian Mafia
but he has broad research interests (most recently suicide missions,
signalling within criminal milieu). Gambetta’s analytical style eschews
disciplinary boundaries making him ideally placed to manage this
project and place this complex phenomenon within its social, political
and economic context.
Other faculty include:
Ernesto Dal Bó
is assistant professor of Economics at the Haas Business School at the
University of California at Berkeley. Dal Bó’s role will be to
develop the students’ understanding of the area between politics,
corruption and protection with particular reference to South America.
is professor of Economics at Princeton University. His book,
“Lawlessness and Economics: Alternative Models of Governance”
(Princeton UP, 2004) – will be a staple reading of the school.
is professor of Economics at Stanford University. Through his work on
self-enforcement in pre-modern Europe he will put the programme of the
school in historical perspective.
James B. Jacobs
is Professor of Law and Director, Center For Research in Crime &
Justice at New York University School of Law. Jacobs, whose new book
"Organized Crime and Organized Labor" is due out in autumn 2005, will
cover organised crime involvement in legitimate businesses and labour
markets, and strategies of organised crime control, including criminal
and civil remedies.
has just finished a three year British Academy postdoctoral fellowship
in the department of Sociology at the University of Oxford. Hill is a
specialist on Japanese Organised Crime.
is assistant professor of Economics at the Universidad Externado de
Colombia. His work on paramilitaries in Colombia provides another model
of extra-legal protection.
is professor of Economics at the University of California at Irvine. He
will explore models of extortion and protection, and the effects of
competition between organized crime groups.
is a lecturer in Criminology at the University of Oxford. His work on
post-Soviet organised crime demonstrates transition economies can
generate the ‘ideal’ aetiological conditions for the emergence of
private protection agents.