Uberto Gatti, Hans M.A. Schadee, Richard E. Tremblay

Capitale sociale e reati contro il patrimonio. Il senso civico come fattore di prevenzione dei furti d'auto e delle rapine nelle province italiane

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Recent theories suggest that high "civicness", civic engagement and social capital protect a community from deviant behaviour. Most empirical studies of this hypothesis have been conducted in North America. This paper examines to what extent this hypothesis applies to Italy for robbery and car theft. Official statistics on "civicness" (voter turnout, number of associations, reading daily newspapers), unemployment, urbanization and couples' separation from the 95 provinces of Italy were used as predictors of crime in multiple regression analyses. We hypothesised that provinces with high levels of civicness would be more successful in preventing robbery and car theft; the regression results generally supported this hypothesis. Analyses of interactions among independent variables revealed that the positive effect of civicness, which at first sight appeared to concern the whole of Italy, in reality concerns only the the most urbanized part of the country, where robberies and car thefts are more frequent.

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