The expansion of organized crime across national borders has become a key security concern for the international community. In this theoretically and empirically vibrant portrait of a global phenomenon, Jana Arsovska examines some of the most widespread myths about the so-called Albanian Mafia. Based on more than a decade of research, including interviews with victims, offenders, and law enforcement across ten countries, as well as court files and confidential intelligence reports, Decoding Albanian Organized Crime presents a comprehensive overview of the causes, codes of conduct, activities, migration, and structure of Albanian organized crime groups in the Balkans, Western Europe, and the United States. Paying particular attention to the dynamic relationships among culture, politics, and organized crime, the book develops a framework for understanding the global growth of the criminal underworld and provides a model for future comparative research.
List of Illustrations
1. Introduction: Ethnic Mob on the Rise
2. Why We Do What We Do
3. On the Run: Albanians Going West
4. Iron Ties: In Blood We Trust
5. Violence, Honor, and Secrecy
6. Sex, Guns, and Extortion
7. Conclusion: Dangerous Hybrids? What Now?
Jana Arsovska is Assistant Professor of Sociology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York.
"Jana Arsovska’s expertise in the subject matter—combined with truly gripping prose—provides the reader with a solid understanding of the historical, legal, and sociological aspects of this truly international and sophisticated element of organized crime."—John R. Cencich, Professor and Director, Center for Criminological and Forensic Sciences, California University of Pennsylvania, and author of The Devil’s Garden: A War Crimes Investigator’s Story
"Arsovska offers excellent analysis, ethnographic insight, and crucial background about the social, economic, and political context of the situation she describes so well. This is an academic, yet personal, account that captures the conditions that empowered Albanian organized crime during the post-Soviet conflict in the Balkans. Start with the preface, and you will be hooked."—Jay Albanese, Professor, Virginia Commonwealth University, and author of Transnational Crime and the 21st Century: Criminal Enterprise, Corruption, and Opportunity
"An unprecedented insight into Albanian organized crime and its evolving cultural, social, and political context. With many vignettes, photos, and firsthand accounts, Decoding Albanian Organized Crime is an outstanding piece of work."—Letizia Paoli, Professor, University of Leuven Faculty of Law, and author of Mafia Brotherhoods: Organized Crime, Italian Style
2015 Best Publication, International Association for the Study of Organized Crime
2015 Outstanding Book Award, American Society of Criminology, Division of International Criminology
2016 Outstanding Book Award, Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences