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Decoding Albanian Organized Crime$
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Jana Arsovska

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780520282803

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520282803.001.0001

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Why We Do What We Do

Why We Do What We Do

(p.13) Chapter 2 Why We Do What We Do
Decoding Albanian Organized Crime

Jana Arsovska

University of California Press

Chapter 2 provides a chronological as well as theoretically founded introduction to the origins of Albanian organized crime in Albania, Kosovo, and Macedonia. It studies the impact of wars, institutional ambivalence, and normlessness (or “culture conflict”) on the strengthening of criminal-political ties and the rise in organized crime in post-communist Albanian society. The effects of neoliberalism, consumerism, and economic strain have been examined in this context, too. This chapter argues that understanding the impact of emotions and non-economic interests is essential for understanding human behavior. The chapter pursues the following questions: Is organized crime as much about hatred, frustration and excitement as it is about poverty, possessing, and wealth? Has the Albanian customary Kanun laws led to a drastic increase in violent and organized crime in Albania? What can a study of societies permeated by a history of violence, patriarchate, and incomplete modernization tell us about the motivations and decision-making processes of organized crime figures? This chapter shed lights on the rational and normative-affective dimensions of organized crime to understand Albanian criminality.

Keywords:   Culture conflict, Kosovo Liberation Army, Albanian organized crime, Radical Islam, Balkan politics, Materialism, Criminal-political ties, Emotions, Cultural criminology, Rational choice

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