A Socio-Historical Perspective on Organized Crime

The project investigated organized crime around the Atlantic seaboard from an unusual perspective – by tracing the migration of RussoPolish criminals to North and South America and to South Africa between 1881 (after the assassination of Tsar Alexander II) and 1914. Using originally developed techniques of social history, the study gained new insights into the origin or organized crime, its trans-national and trans-continental expansion and the social dynamics driving these processes.

Project leader(s):
  • Charles van Onselen (Pretoria)
Publication(s):

C van Onselen, Who killed Meyer Hasenfus? Organized crime, policing and informing on the Witwatersrand, 1902-8, History Workshop Journal 67 (2009) (Oxford University Press), pp. 1-22.