Programs : Brochure
- Locations: Palermo, Italy; Rome, Italy; Taormina, Italy
- Program Terms: Spring- Embedded
- Host Program Website: Visit host website for more information
- Restrictions: PSU applicants only
The study of crime and organized groups, through embedded international travel, will include a look at the history of organized crime, the effects globalization has had on the proliferation across borders and the threat to international security, and the current movement to end the influence of Mafia groups. As the "birthplace" of organized crime in the 19th century, Palermo provides a unique setting for experiencing the historical and living tradition of organized crime. It is Sicily's varied history and multiple governments that led to the creation and necessity of the Mafia. The Mafia began as a way of life: a way to protect one's family and loved ones from the injustice of the government. Sicily's long string of judicially inept governments fostered an environment where those who were shrewd enough could manipulate the system to their advantage, creating wealth, power and prestige. Rome, as the capital of Italy, has seen the effects of Mafia groups and legislators and judges have worked relentlessly to create laws that would drastically affect the structure and reach of the Mafia.
Today, what most people know about Italian criminal organizations comes from stereotypical representations in popular culture – films and literature. The film The Godfather typifies some of the practices of the Italian mafia over the last few decades. Throughout history, in Italy and elsewhere, a common practice of paying the "pizzo," or protection money, was commonplace for business owners. In 2008, the pizzo racket generated 17 billion dollars in earnings, with up to 80% of Palermo businesses habitually paying the pizzo to avoid conflict. In the past, the payment of the pizzo would allow business owners to operate without interference from the Mafia or others and often resulted in extortion.
In 2004, seven young social activists in Palermo, Sicily, actively worked to bring about social change by encouraging pubic resistance to the Mafia's extortion and intimidation through the pizzo; creating Comitato Addiopizzo (goodbye pizzo). The association provides legal, moral and social support to those brave enough to report extortionists to the police. As a result of their efforts, the association has over 200 traders and entrepreneurs and over 9,000 consumers committed to buy only at shops or businesses belonging to the "pizzo-free" list.
Our travel to Sicily and Rome, Italy, will focus on the rich history of organized criminal groups, their globalization and how it has affected not only Italy, but other countries, and the social activism which has profoundly changed the economic, social, and psychological landscape of the city and country.
During the embedded travel component, housing will consist of dormitory/student housing accommodations.
The process for enrolling in an embedded course varies according to the instructor and/or department. The program leader has indicated that in order to enroll in the course and travel component, students must contact the program leader, Debra Dreisbach, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Term||Year||App Deadline||Decision Date||Start Date||End Date|
|Spring- Embedded||2020||08/21/2019 **||Rolling Admission||03/05/2020||03/15/2020|
|NOTE: The application deadline date is NOT as it appears above. Please contact the program leader (Debra Dreisbach) by emailing (email@example.com) if you are interested in applying for this embedded program.|
** Indicates rolling admission application process. Students will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
Indicates that deadline has passed