For thisinnovative study, the first situating organized crime in the debate on state formation, Alexander Kupatadze interviewed over one hundred respondents including criminals, law enforcement officials, and politicians in post-Soviet Georgia, ...
Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan to map the divergent patterns of organized crime in these countries following their Coloured Revolutions. Drawing upon unique case studies of criminal activity, the authortraces the thin line dividing the licit and illicit spheres, or 'upper' and 'under' economic and political worlds. Kupatadze argues that state formation in post-Soviet Eurasia has been heavily marked by struggle for the dominance between political elites and organized crime groups that involved various forms of contention and collaboration. In reassessing the nature of state criminalization, Kupatadze introduces three dimensions of the state that determine the patterns of dominance: political-coercive, economic-taxation and ideological-informational. He distills the variables surrounding organized crime into contextual (geography, regional wars) and intermediate (related with the Coloured Revolutions such as participation of civil society, resources of competing political groups). This work is an important contribution to the study of organized criminality and state formation.