The International Expansion of the Calabrian Mafia: Evidence from Germany

This seminar will take place online.

How do mafia groups take advantage of globalisation? Under particular conditions, mafia groups have succeeded in setting up branches in new territories. Over time, some of those branches have become more established, diversifying activities, and gradually upgrading their presence. Today, the Calabrian mafia, the ‘Ndrangheta, is considered to be one of the most international mafias worldwide. In Europe, their presence is reportedly the strongest in Germany. While conventional wisdom on globalisation has hyped a debate around transnational organised crime, promoting an image of the mafia as a giant and unbeatable octopus, the actual phenomenon of criminal ‘transplantation’ – especially its limitations – has generally been neglected. Relying on a unique set of data extracted from police investigations, confidential reports, and archival documentation – triangulated with extensive interviews and field observation – Zora attempts to offer increased analytical clarity and empirical rigour to an otherwise abstract and sometimes sensationalist debate on the globalisation of organised crime.