The Politics Of Criminal Organizations Essay

1062 words - 4 pages

Criminal organizations penetrate democratic mechanisms and their systems of representation. Votes are extorted with threats and violence or Wheedled out of citizens in exchange for different kinds of incentives. Political Parties rely heavily on external funding. This dependence inevitably makes them susceptible to corruption (Allum and Siebert 2003). Accordingly, It is common to secure a number of votes in exchange for favors, Such as contracts for public works, promoting and scuttling legislation, Patronage, etc. (ibid.) “All the ‘regional commission’ of the Mafia has to Do is to instruct which party to vote for, and tens of thousands of votes Will flood in for that party” (Procura della Reppublica di Palermo 1994 in Allum and Seibert 2003). Authors point out that Mafias have no strong Ideological agenda and “they will sponsor any ideological political party which will favor their criminal activities and give them public contracts” (Allum, forthcoming).
Shelley (199 5) argues that in countries where organized crime groups thrive, Especially in societies undergoing transition to democracy, representatives Of organized crime assume key positions in the incipient legislatures. This allowed the criminal groups to influence the new legal framework of the Country and establish rules favorable to their interests. Corrupt political authorities at the local level can be uniquely powerful Instruments for organized crime, note Beare (1997). Allum (forthcoming) Argues criminal gangs in Italy often exert considerable influence over Local government municipal employees and their decisions. Such influence Results in clienteles or favoritism, where municipal employees Award public contracts to Mafia-linked companies or bend and ignore Rules in order to ensure that criminal gangs win public contracts (ibid.). Examples of this phenomenon are provided from Southern Italy, where, between 199 1 and June 2008, 177 local councils were dissolved due to Mafia infiltration (Allum forthcoming De Stefano, 2008, p. 328). In 2006, Only 9 out of the 92 councils in the region were judged ‘clean’, i.e. Without requiring investigation, Prefect’s control or monitoring. Therefore, 90% of councils required investigation (Allum forthcoming Marasca, 2006, p. 12).
In its most advanced form, organized crime is so thoroughly integrated into the economic, political, and social institutions of legitimate society that it may no longer be recognizable as a criminal enterprise. In the Most extreme cases, infiltration of politics by organized crime may lead to mixing among a country’s political and criminal elites to the point Where OCG are able to wield political power. Van Dijk points out that in many parts of the world, grand corruption and organized crime are two Sides of the same coin. The relationship between organized crime and Politics can be seen as a ‘system interaction’: the interaction between a Representative of a criminal sub-system, i.e. a Mafioso, and a politician from...

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