Waiting for a new leader: Eras and transitions in Cosa Nostra

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This chapter examines Cosa Nostra’s recent history and its complex current situation, taking a diachronic and multifaceted analytical perspective. It provides a concise overview of the most significant stages of the organisation’s development over the last 30 years, beginning with the aftermath of the brutal second mafia war, when Salvatore Riina imposed himself as leader and established a new organisational model, criminal strategy and identity and developed new alliances with external figures. A critical turning point came with the 1992–94 massacres, which showed how Cosa Nostra had raised the stakes, challenging state institutions in ways that contrasted strongly with its traditional ‘criminal vocation’. This ushered in a period of events yet to be fully decoded, during which ‘external presences’ took on unclear roles, inquiries were thrown off track, negotiations and secret deals were made, all of which continue to weigh on the organisation’s current situation. Based on recent investigations, judicial documents and academic studies, the final part of this chapter highlights the difficulties faced by Cosa Nostra today. Now suffering from a serious leadership crisis, further accentuated by Riina’s death, it appears to be pursuing a strategy of waiting and must come to terms with its uncertain evolutionary prospects.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteItalian Mafias Today : territory, business and politics
Numero di pagine18
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2019


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