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States and Illegal Practices

NCJ Number
Josiah McC. Heyman
Date Published
333 pages
This book considers why illegal practices -- including corruption and protection rackets -- do not disappear, but continue to thrive.
Joining theories of states and state formation with theories of illegal practices, the book traces the alliance of official practices with criminality. Criminal subcultures, mafias, and gangs have received much attention, as have formal policy approaches of the state. However, until now, the interaction of state police apparatuses with illegal practices has been neglected. The book contains articles by experts in the fields of anthropology and history. It examines the development of transnational illegal networks, such as the narcotics trade and the new trade in environmentally restricted commodities, as well as how culture, ethnicity, and economic considerations drive illegal practices and influence state policy. The various articles investigate: transnational crime from a historical world-systems perspective; the problems of state boundaries; whether transparency is possible; Russian protection rackets; adolescent violence, state processes, and the local context of moral panic; and state escalation of force. Table, figures, notes, references, index