Reviews of The Russian Mafia

  • "L’ouvrage de Federico Varese est l’une des toutes premières études systématiques de la mafia en Russie, qui dépasse avec succès le stade du descriptif, voire simplement de l’anecdotique. C’est un livre important quant à l’économie politique des transactions dans un système faiblement institutionnalisé et l’auteur réussit à rendre un texte dense et fortement structure théoriquement aussi lisible qu’un bon roman policier."

    Jacques Sapir Cahiers du monde russe

  • “Federico Varese’s book is the much needed sober account of how the market has surfaced in Russia with the effect of creating colossal crime problems. Varese offers much more than headlines and casual remarks on what the Russian mafia is and some of the ways it operates and it should become essential reading for all those concerned not only with the direction that Russia is taking but all societies in transition...Varese’s book is much more than an exposition of the Russian mafia; he has produced an extraordinary study of Soviet and post-Soviet society itself.”

    Laura Piacentini, British Journal of Criminology

  • "In his scholarly study, Varese systematically surveys the source of the problem, inventories the origins and resources of those groups providing protection, and then describes the way the relationship works. At the core of his book is an elaborate case study of the city of Perm, where he spent months working with police records, conducting interviews, and collecting newspaper stories."  

    Robert Legvold, Foreign Affairs

  • "Headlines on Russian organized crime appear regularly in the Western Press and carry alarming messages.  Now we finally have a sober, scholarly account. Unlike headline writers, Varese is cautious about the use of the term 'Mafia'. The history of the vory-v-zakone is fascinating."

    Alena Alena Ledeneva, Times Literary Supplement


Reviews of Mafias on the Move

"Varese is one of the most acute students of global organised crime and a gripping storyteller."

Misha Glenny, London Review of Books

"Varese is a leader of the younger generation of scholars taking on the important issues in the difficult study of organized crime."

Susan Rose-Ackerman, Yale University

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