“Rakopoulos admirably delineates the entwined positionalities of mafia, anti-mafia, workers, administrators, and the state.” • American Anthropologist
“Overall, the book should have wide appeal, and will be of interest to scholars of cooperatives, organised crime and counter-organised crime. While the books primarily subject is cooperatives, it would sit comfortable with other ethnographies of organised crime. Moreover, it provides an important critical dimension to the growing literature on the use of economic development to counter organised crime and illicit enterprise, especially the power inequalities inherent in such endeavours.” • Irish Journal of Anthropology
“Erudite and readable, scholarly and passionate, this stunning ethnography reveals how the Sicilian anti-mafia movement shares with the mafia deep-seated social bonds no less significant than the mutual enmity that divides and defines them. Focusing on the anti-mafia’s cooperative movement, which credits itself with the relative peace that Sicily now enjoys, Rakopoulos whisks from the mists of sinister secrecy a detailed and riveting portrait of the pas de deuxof social complicity and ethical engagement that has enabled this new configuration to emerge within the ethos of modern capitalism.” • Michael Herzfeld, Ernest E. Monrad Professor of the Social Sciences, Harvard University
“This theoretically-sophisticated ethnography will not only change popular images of Sicily, it will also provide hope for those struggling to find new ways of organizing life in today’s troubled world. A seminal contribution to human economy.” • Chris Gregory, ANU College of Arts and Social Science
“Based on sensitive fieldwork and thorough ethnographic research, this is a marvelous account of the anti-mafia co-op project in Palermo, Sicily, which aims to transform landholdings previously owned by mafia families into functioning anti-mafia cooperatives. From Clans to Co-ops not only takes readers inside the dynamics of these producer cooperatives, but also usefully reviews cooperatives from other places and other times.” • Peter Schneider, Fordham University
From Clans to Co-ops explores the social, political, and economic relations that enable the constitution of cooperatives operating on land confiscated from mafiosi in Sicily, a project that the state hails as arguably the greatest symbolic victory over the mafia in Italian history. Rakopoulos’s ethnographic focus is on access to resources, divisions of labor, ideologies of community and food, and the material changes that cooperatives bring to people’s lives in terms of kinship, work and land management. The book contributes to broader debates about cooperativism, how labor might be salvaged from market fundamentalism, and to emergent discourses about the ‘human’ economy.
Theodoros Rakopoulos is Associate Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Oslo. He has most recently published on citizenship, property, statehood and conspiracy theory. His book Passport Island: The Market for EU Citizenship in Cyprus tackles citizenship by investment programmes and elite Russian migration to ‘Europe’ (Manchester University Press, 2023).
LC: HD3505.A3 S5365 2017
BISAC: SOC002010 SOCIAL SCIENCE/Anthropology/Cultural & Social; POL023000 POLITICAL SCIENCE/Political Economy
BIC: JHMC Social & cultural anthropology, ethnography; KCP Political economy
available open access under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) with support from the University of Bergen.