Taking care of everyone’s business: Interpreting Sicilian Mafia embedment through spatial network analysis

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Global Crime


Taylor & Francis


School of Science / ECU Security Research Institute


Battisti, M., Lavezzi, A. M., & Musotto, R. (2022). Taking care of everyone’s business: interpreting Sicilian Mafia embedment through spatial network analysis. Global Crime. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1080/17440572.2022.2073440


Mafia-type organisations often have a strong geographical and cultural entrenchment in the territory they belong. However, their analysis as a spatially networked social structure is still missing. A combined socio-spatial network analysis is presented here, through the demise of a large police operation called Operazione Perseo in 2008. This approach is developed in two ways. At first, a visual representation of the social network of this large group of mafiosi embedded in a geographical space is presented. Three main salient territorial features of the network are thus highlighted. A high density of links in some neighbourhoods, as well as connections across different Mandamenti, the territorial units where Mafia families operate, and the correlation of links and socio-economic determinants, like the unemployment rates. Secondly, a spatial econometric analysis of centrality measures of the group is suggested here. Findings show a positive spatial correlation in the Eigenvalue centrality scores.



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