9 June, 1:30-5pm G01 Clore Centre, Birkbeck College
Social scientists and lawyers have long been studying organised crime, networks of criminal activity. Historians on the other hand have only begun recently to examine organised crime. Most existing histories of organised crime focus on organised crime’s functions, but say little about the cultural contexts in which organised crime operates. Moreover, existing accounts tend to focus on particular national contexts.
Organised crime, a phenomenon prevalent throughout the world, has always transcended national boundaries and is therefore a theme that allows us to pursue transnational history on a global level. The workshop aims to bring together historians of all regions for a truly global history workshop. Organised crime has existed in almost every developed society since at least the beginning of the modern period, and yet many questions about it have been largely neglected by historians. Typically, organised crime exists in societies where the state is unable to implement its “monopoly of violence”. How do we define what constitutes organised crime in the past, who was involved in it, and why? How does organised crime’s emergence and persistence relate to cultural, political, and economic factors? How does organised crime relate to class, ethnicity and gender, and how did it (and attempts to control it) develop in different national and transnational contexts? Finally, how does one write a history of organised crime, given the often fragmentary evidence that throws up a number of epistemological issues?
Chair: Sunil Amrith (Birkbeck)
John Dickie (UCL), ‘Blood Brotherhoods: The Rise of the Italian Mafias’
Christian Goeschel, ‘Organised Crime in Weimar and Nazi Germany’
Julia Laite, ‘Sex trafficking in the early twentieth century: organised crime and the criminalization of vice’
Chair: Hilary Sapire
John Sidel (LSE), David Anderson (Oxford), Daniel Pick (Birkbeck).
To register, please see http://www.bbk.ac.uk/bih/news/orgcrime
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