The Observatory on Organized Crime of the University of Milan is the place of intersection of research, teaching and cultural promotion activities that have been underway for years at the Faculty of Political, Economic and Social Sciences on the major issues of legality. It is a Coordinated Research Centre, with impulse and exchange functions, founded in 2013 from the collaboration between the Department of Social and Political Sciences and the Department of International, Legal and Historical-Political Studies of the University of Milan.
Professors and researchers of the University of Milan and other universities, as well as young students interested in the organized crime, collaborate in the Observatory’s activities.
The Observatory carries out research projects on tenders, donations, or on public and private orders, and follows public and private higher education projects. Notables are the three “Reports on the Northern Regions” carried out for the Presidency of the Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry on the mafia phenomenon and research on education to legality and anti-mafia in the Italian school, ongoing thanks to an agreement protocol between Miur and the Political and Social Sciences Department.
The Observatory thus proposes itself as a centre of irradiation of studies and scientific-civil commitment, aiming in particular to build an articulated relationship with Italian and foreign scholars and researchers, in order to enhance young scholars and also to follow them in their extra-academic paths, and consequently to promote the development of a large scientific community. In this respect, it expresses an unmistakable trait of originality compared to other experiences of Observatories or Research Centres.
In 2015 the “Rivista di Studi e Ricerche sulla Criminalità Organizzata” was established, representing a further step on the path that the University of Milan has undertaken for the construction of a specific disciplinary field dedicated to the mafia phenomenon. At the origin of this choice lies the conviction that knowledge is a real “productive force” in the fight against the mafia phenomenon, and that it is a resource (indispensable for Italian democracy) that the University must contribute to generate and regenerate, welcoming and interpreting the requests and sensitivities that come from the new generations. The scientific ambition is not only to contribute to the formation of an “interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary” discipline, but also to promote the rediscovery of the function and energy of academic knowledge, leading to the enhancement of young talents.