Mafia Life: Love, Death and Making Money at the Heart of Organised Crime

Talk Monday 18th September 2017, 07:00 PM

Join us for an evening with Federico Varese, Professor of Criminology at the University of Oxford, in conversation with journalist Luke Harding; into the strange and bizarre world of Mafia Life.

We see mafias as vast, powerful organisations, harvesting billions of dollars across the globe and wrapping their tentacles around everything from governance to finance. But is this the truth? Travelling from mafia initiation ceremonies in far-flung Russian cities to elite gambling clubs in downtown Macau, Federico Varese sets off in search of answers. Using wiretapped conversations, interviews and previously unpublished police records, he builds up a picture of the real men and women caught up in mafia life, showing their loves and fears, ambitions and disappointments, as well as their crimes.


Mafia Life takes us into the real world of organised crime, where henchmen worry about their bad managers and have high blood pressure, assassinations are bungled as often as they come off, and increasing pressure from law enforcement means that a life of crime is no longer lived in the lap of luxury. As our world changes, so must mafias. Globalisation, migration and technology are disrupting traditions and threatening their revenue streams, and the Mafiosi must evolve or die. Mafia Life is an intense and totally compelling look at these organisations and the daily life of their members, as they get to grips with the modern world.