Informations and abstract
The problems of the South Italy, in the current phase, are often interpreted in terms of public order, so that the "questione meridionale" is represented primarily as a "criminal question". Prevails in fact a "mafio-centric" vision, where everything seems to depend on what the Mafia wants and does, neglecting contextual factors and economic and social processes. In reality, to understand the embeddedness and the territorial expansion of the mafia we must focus on the institutional settings, and in particular on the mode of operation of politics and economics. The strength of the mafiosi is based on their ability to accumulate and use resources of social capital, that criminal organizations are able to make productive, intertwining relationships of complicity and collusion in the economic and political circuits. In this perspective, it is important the presence of a "gray area", that is to say a space of relationships and business, where take shape and develop hidden exchanges, collusive agreements, alliances and cartels criminals.