Varieties of Protectors

Federico Varese

in The Russian Mafia

Published in print August 2001 | ISBN: 9780198297369
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600272 | DOI:
Varieties of Protectors

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Chapters 1 and 2 point to the fact that the demand for protection that accompanies the spread of market transactions is met by the Russian state only in part: a significant sector of the business world does not use state-supplied protection services. A demand for alternative sources of protection is then expected to arise. Some authors, especially economists, have been quick to conclude that, since the state does not provide a service, the market inevitably will. It cannot, however, be argued that demand will inevitably be met; a supply of people trained in the use of violence and easily available weapons must also be present. This chapter focuses on the availability of people trained in the use of violence and of weapons, and the varieties of private protectors available in Russia at the time of the transition to the market, ranging from segments of the state apparatus (privately sold state protection), to private security (protection) firms, the internalized protection systems of major economic conglomerates, and criminal groups (banditskaya krysha: krysha, literally ‘roof’, is Russian slang for protection).

Keywords: banditskaya krysha; criminal groups; economic conglomerates; internalized protection systems; private protection; private security firms; protection; protection services; Russia; state protection services; transition to the market; transitional economy

Chapter.  7164 words. 

Subjects: Politics

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