Challenging Mafia’s Territorial Power. Operating Among Market and Culture to Sanction Cosa Nostra, a Case Study on Addiopizzo

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 16:50
Oral Presentation
Patrizio LODETTI, university of milan, Italy
Gianmaria PESSINA, university of milan, Italy
Addiopizzo is an anti-mafia movement established in Palermo (2004) to struggle extortion racket. It aims to sustain, spread and consolidate a culture based on legality, as well as an economic development free from mafia constraints. Addiopizzo association have fostered the creation of a community composed by entrepreneurs who refuse Mafia protection system. We argue that refuse to pay pizzo and above all the willing to denunciate any extortion attempt , question the legitimacy of mafia’s territorial power. Consequently these attitudes can be conceptualized as a sanction against Cosa nostra.

For a shopkeeper, joining Addiopizzo network assumes the meaning of sharing the aforementioned attitudes and entails to signal it out. This implies an increasing perception of a possible change, namely a market field where is possible to avoid relationship with the mafia realm and to remain consistent with an ethical orientation founded on anti-mafia values and a culture of legality.

Our paper intends to inquire the dynamics that make Addiopizzo’s experience so effective and lasting. In particular, how a community can organize a sanction system, jointly at economical and culturall level, to challenge territorial power of crime organizations. One crucial point concern the role played by values and culture in this process. The aim is to contribute understanding the possibilities of change in a context marked by a rooted presence of organised crime through the use of a post-heroic approach, that is an incremental transformation driven by a collective action of actors otherwise weak and powerless.