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Title: Hidden power : the strategic logic of organized crime : Sicily, New York and the Caribbean, 1859-1968, and Mexico and the Sahel
Author: Cockayne, James David Robert
ISNI:       0000 0000 5728 456X
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2015
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Criminologists have long recognized that some groups govern criminal markets. Strategists and political scientists, however, downplay the role organized crime plays in domestic and international politics – though the United Nations Security Council, World Bank and White House have warned that role may be growing. The assumption has been that states and insurgents exist in a political ‘upperworld’ while organized crime exists in a separate, profit-driven ‘underworld’. We consequently lack a framework for understanding the strategic logic of organized crime: how it uses force, and other means, to compete, cooperate and collaborate with states and other political organizations for governmental power. This dissertation develops such a framework, drawing on strategic theory, criminology, and economic and management theory. It applies the framework to the emergence, development and movement of mafias in Sicily, New York, and the Caribbean between 1859 and 1968. Using unpublished judicial, intelligence and diplomatic material, mafia memoires, and published secondary sources, the dissertation reveals mafias becoming autonomous strategic actors in both domestic and international politics. They deliberately influenced elections, organized domestic insurgency and transnational armed attacks, attemped regime change, and formed governmental joint ventures with ruling groups. Mafias played important and unappreciated military and political roles during the Second World War, the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Based on this historical analysis, the dissertation identifies six ways criminal groups position themselves in the ‘market for government’. These positioning strategies help explain the emergence and behaviours of mafias, warlords and gang rulers; political-criminal alliances; acts of terrorism by criminal groups; and criminal sponsorship of new political structures (‘blue ocean’ strategy). The final section applies these concepts to two contemporary cases – Mexico and the Sahel – and considers the overall implications for strategic theory, efforts to combat organized crime and the management of criminal spoilers in peace processes.
Supervisor: Berdal, Mats Ragnar ; Freedman, Lawrence Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available