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From Fear to Fraternity: A Russian Tale of Crime, Economy and Modernityby Patricia Rawlinson
Synopses & Reviews
Organized crime makes good copy. Gangsters, shoot-outs and mob meetings are a staple of TV shows and media reports tend to glamorise the criminal underworld. The 'threat' from organized crime has been a high-profile concern in Western Europe and the US since the 1930s. So the recent emergence of Russian and Eastern European organized crime has led to high-profile efforts to combat the new 'threat' with little understanding of what it entails. This book offers a unique analysis of the development of Russian organised crime in a global context. Rawlinson argues that typical Western attitudes towards the high rates of criminal enterprise in Russia are misguided: it should not merely be seen as a consequence of the failures of communism but as a symptom of the problems encountered in liberal democracies and free market economies. Rawlinson sets the burgeoning criminal enterprise of the late 80s and early 90s in the larger context of both Russian and Western societies. Drawing on fieldwork and interviews conducted with members of the Russian criminal underworld, the business community, journalists and the militia, she argues that organized crime provides us with 'a barometer of economic well-being', not just for Russia but for any market economy. In this respect it becomes an aid, rather than a threat. Media reports tend to distort the picture of organised crime, with 'fictional' programs such as The Sopranos ironically providing a more accurate picture of its prosaic nature. The final chilling chapter presents a picture of an increasingly Sovietised West, which threatens to degenerate into a state of ubiquitous corruption and crime should we ignore the lessons of Russia's 'Mafia' experience.
'Baghdad Bulletin takes us where mainstream news accounts do not go. Disrupting the easy cliches that dominate US journalism, Enders blows away the media fog of war.' Norman Soloman
The end of communism marked the re-emergence of a huge rise in organised crime across Russia and Eastern Europe. High-profile efforts to combat it have met with little success.Patricia Rawlinson argues that burgeoning crime rates result not only from the failures of communism but also from the problems of free market economies.Drawing on interviews with members of the Russian criminal underworld, the business community, journalists and the militia, she argues that organised crime provides us with a barometer of economic well-being, not just for Russia but for any market economy.
About the Author
Patricia Rawlinson is one of the leading experts on Russian and Eastern European organised crime. She is a lecturer in Criminology at the London School of Economics.
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