STOKING UNREST AND DISTRIBUTING GROCERIES: ITALY’S MAFIAS GAIN GROUND IN FIGHT FOR LOYALTY DURING PANDEMIC LOCKDOWN, Newsweek, 18.04.2020

I was interviewed by Newsweek on the phenomenon of criminal/mafia welfare. The article is here.

this is what I said: “They act with the interest of the organization at heart and never do anything just for benefit of the community,” Federico Varese, a professor of criminology at the University of Oxford and a senior research fellow at Nuffield College, told Newsweek.“Their gifts are favors to be paid back at some later time.”

“Any provision that enables people to be free and autonomous helps in the long run also the fight against mafias, who recruit among those in need,” Varese said, noting that handing out food itself is not illegal. “The fight against the mafia to be effective must also include social policies that drain away the support Mafias might have in the community. Such policies must come from the government.”

See also comments by Diego Gambetta: “One dollar spent now in donations brings about greater loyalty and gratitude than a dollar spent in peaceful times,” Gambetta said.

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