Mon 10 Jul 17
Dr Sergi received the award for her forthcoming book From Mafia to Organised Crime: A comparative analysis of policing models.
The book compares how organised crime and mafia groups have been treated and perceived in both criminal policy and criminal law in Italy, the UK, the USA and Australia.
"Italy gave me my first opportunities to grasp a truly international education, through exchange programmes with the UK and the USA. All of the research I now undertake is international in nature, taking in a lot Italy, Europe and the rest of the world. This award reminds me that research has no boundaries."
By looking at topics as varied as mafia mobility, money laundering, drug networks and gang violence, Dr Sergi sought to identify similarities and differences across the four policing models; both in the strategies used to deal with them and the long standing perceptions various institutions have of them.
Through interviews with policy makers and law enforcement agencies, she found that, despite there being a lot of operational similarities between, for example, the mafia in Italy and the biker groups in Australia, the authorities are used to looking at how they’ve been labelled as opposed to analysing the way they behave.
Dr Sergi also makes the point that mafia type groups and organised crime groups need to be seen in context with the culture from which they originate, for example mafias are a product of both the southern Italian culture and the Italian legal culture.
The Italy Made Me awards are co-ordinated by the Italian Embassy in London, in collaboration with il Circolo, the Association of Italian Scientists in the UK (AISUK) and other Italian academic associations across the UK.
They are presented to Italian researchers studying in the UK having received part of their education in Italy, in recognition of innovative research conducted in each of the three European Research Council (ERC) domains: Life Sciences; Physical and Engineering Sciences; Social Sciences and Humanities.
This year’s awards were recently presented at the Conference of Italian Academics and Researchers in the United Kingdom, held in London.
Dr Sergi’s book is published by Palgrave and is due out this summer.