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Cambridge Central Asia Forum


Cambridge Central Asia Forum in collaboration with the Centre of Development Studies invites you to a talk by 


Dr Gavin Slade, University of Glasgow 




Good Governance? Gangs and Informal Order in the Prisons of the Former Soviet Union

Date: 25 May 2018

Time: 11-1pm

Venue: Room S2, Alison Richard Building, Cambridge 

Abstract: The concept of 'governance' has become salient in the study of organized crime. Recent US literature on prison gangs suggest that gangs emerge to meet demands for governance of social and economic interactions where the state cannot or will not do this. As such, prison gangs, far from being a symptom of dysfunction in fact are highly complex organizations that produce public goods, including the control of violence. This paper analyses data from a research project that analyses penal reform efforts that target prison gang structures in former Soviet prisons, specifically in Georgia, Lithuania, Kyrgyzstan and Moldova. This paper utilizes survey and interview data of prisoners across these cases to analyse the problem of prison gangs and their links to prison violence. The paper finds that, contrary to some claims in the US literature, where prison gangs are present this correlates with a poorer prison environment and greater insecurity among prisoners and staff.

Biography: Gavin Slade is a lecturer in legacies of communism at the University of Glasgow. He works on questions of criminal justice reform in the former Soviet Union. His first book was published with Oxford University Press in 2013 entitled 'Reorganizing Crime: Mafia and Anti-Mafia in Post-Soviet Georgia.'

Everyone is welcome.

Friday, 25 May, 2018 - 11:00 to 13:00
Event location: 
Room S2, Alison Richard Building, CB3 9DP