Abstract/Details

Democracy and the dangerous man: Mafia justice versus citizen virtue


1997 1997

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Abstract (summary)

Organized crime in the United States has, in the words of political theorist Sheldon Wolin, exerted "significant power and influence, controls enormous wealth, and exhibits many of the same features which ordinarily arouse the interest of political scientists, e.g., organization, authority, power, kinship ties, rules, and strong consensus." And yet, "despite the promising research possibilities," as Wolin has noted, "no textbook on American government provides a place for organized crime in 'the system,' no study of 'polyarchy' or community has taken cognizance of it.

This study seeks to remedy that defect. Through scholarly research and the author's own experiences in the criminal justice system, it explores the political nature of organized crime with particular emphasis on the Sicilian and the Sicilian-American mafias. The study finds that the mafia variety of organized crime tends to substitute for the state as the recognized political authority when at least three basic conditions are met: (1) When the state fails to adequately protect its citizens, (2) when a climate of cultural mistrust of state authority exists, and (3) when there is an adequate supply of dangerous men who know how to employ force to obtain order in the manner described by Niccolo Machiavelli in The Prince.

Indexing (details)


Subject
Criminology;
Political science
Classification
0627: Criminology
0615: Political science
Identifier / keyword
Social sciences; organized crime
Title
Democracy and the dangerous man: Mafia justice versus citizen virtue
Author
McCartney, L. Michael
Number of pages
118
Publication year
1997
Degree date
1997
School code
0118
Source
DAI-A 58/09, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
ISBN
9780591598278, 0591598272
Advisor
Xenos, Nicholas
University/institution
University of Massachusetts Amherst
University location
United States -- Massachusetts
Degree
Ph.D.
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
9809366
ProQuest document ID
304354558
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
http://search.proquest.com/docview/304354558
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