Review of Gangster States: Organized Crime, Kleptocracy and Political Collapse

Document Type

Book Review


Politics and Economics (CGU)

Publication Date



Political Science


Gangster States by Katherine Hirschfeld, an Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Oklahoma is part of a large offering of International Political Economy series titles produced by Palgrave Macmillan. A book like this can easily become overlooked and quickly forgotten as a byproduct of such numerous titles. Hirschfeld, however, has produced a gem of a work that is both multidisciplinary in its approach and intellectually seductive. Within the context of traditional organized crime studies, its amoral analytics may be viewed as highly disruptive—almost heretical—in nature. Contrarian and well executed works such as this should be greatly valued for their ‘out of the box’ perspectives and ability to shake up what can at times become an insular and dogmatic discipline.

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© 2016 Springer