The Illicit and Illegal in Regional and Urban Governance and Development: Corrupt Places, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Illicit and Illegal in Regional and Urban Governance and Development

Corrupt Places, 1st Edition

Edited by Francesco Chiodelli, Tim Hall, Ray Hudson


280 pages | 11 B/W Illus.

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Discussions of the illicit and the illegal have tended to be somewhat restricted in their disciplinary range, to date, and have been largely confined to the literatures of anthropology, criminology, policing and, to an extent, political science. However, these debates have impinged little on cognate literatures, not least those of urban and regional studies which remain almost entirely undisturbed by such issues. This volume aims to open up debates across a range of cognate disciplines.

The Illicit and Illegal in Regional and Urban Governance and Development is a multidisciplinary volume that aims to open up these debates, extending themempirically and questioning the dominant discussions of governance and developmentthat have been rooted largely or entirely in the realm of licit and legalactors. The book investigates these issues with reference to a variety of differentgeographical contexts, including, but not limited to, places traditionally consideredto be associated with illegal activities and extensive illicit markets, such assome regions in the so-called Global South. The chapters consider the ways inwhich these questions deeply affect the daily lives of several cities and regions insome advanced countries. Their comparative perspectives will demonstrate thatthe illicit and the illegal are an underappreciated structural aspect of current urbanand regional governance and development across the globe.

The book is an edited collection of research-informed essays, which will primarily be of interest to those taking advanced undergraduate and taught postgraduate courses in human geography, urban and regional planning and a range of social science disciplines that have an interest in urban and regional issues and issues related to crime and corruption.


"The diverse and rich contents of the book – which have been briefly re-called in this review – makes it suitable for a large audience, both in and outside the academic field. On the one hand, scholars and students from different disciplines, e.g. sociology, criminology, economics, political science, international relations, as well as geography of course, could find many empirical and analytical elements of interests in the volume. On the other hand, the book can also provide useful infor-mation and suggestions to public officers and policy makers for political projects and for the definition of new tools in fighting against criminal phenomena. Finally, the book could also rouse the attention of journalists and media commentators, considering the flurry international public debate about the drivers and the effects of the illicit and the illegal." - Joselle Dagnes,University of Torino

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables

List of Contributors


Chapter 1

Grey Governance and the Development of Cities and Regions: The Variable Relationship Between (Il)legal and (Ill)licit

Francesco Chiodelli, Tim Hall, Ray Hudson and Stefano Moroni

Chapter 2

Drug trafficking in the Sahara Desert: follow the money and find land grabbing

Luca Raineri

Chapter 3

Invisible journeys across India-Bangladesh borders and bubbles of corrupt networks: stories of cross-border rural-urban migration and economic linkages

Hosna J Shewly and Md Nadiruzzaman

Chapter 4

Gangsters, guerrillas and the rise of a shadow state in East Timor

James Scambary

Chapter 5

Criminal networks, youth street groups and illicit territorial regulation in Moscow and Tbilisi

Svetlana Stephenson and Evgeniya Zakharova

Chapter 6

Illegal enterprises and the city: when territorial control is an issue of urban governance Lessons from Medellín, Colombia

Laure Leibler

Chapter 7

Mobs, Sucanchiuostru, Anti-Communists: Global and Local Actors in the Sack of Palermo

Vincenzo Scalia

Chapter 8

Filling governance and development vacuums: a role for development actors or criminal groups?

Sasha Jesperson

Chapter 9

Planning for Marijuana: Development, Governance, and Regional Political Economy

Michael Polson

Chapter 10

Embedding illegality, or when the illegal becomes licit: planning cases and urban transformations in Rome

Barbara Pizzo and Edoardo Altavilla

Chapter 11

Building legitimacy through the spatial aesthetics of the illicit: non-state urban actors in post-311 Japan

Margrete Bjone Engelien, John Edom and Hannah Wood

Chapter 12

The corruption of politics or the politics of corruption? Reconsidering the role of organised crime in the geo-politics of corruption

Sue Penna and Martin O'Brien

Chapter 13

Corrupt cities: The illicit in local urban development. The Spanish case

Monica Garcia Quesada and Fernando Jiménez Sánchez

Chapter 14

Corruption, crisis and planning policies: the Free-Trade Zone project in the metropolitan area of Valencia, Spain

Jorge Ignacio Selfa Clemente

Chapter 15

Who is corrupt and where lies corruption? Thinking with land use planning violations in Bangalore

Jayaraj Sundaresan


About the Editors

Francesco Chiodelli is Senior Research Fellow at Gran Sasso Science Institute, Italy.

Tim Hall is Professor of Interdisciplinary Social Studies and Head of the Department of Applied Social Sciences at the University of Winchester, UK.

Ray Hudson is Professor of Geography at Durham University, UK.

About the Series

Regions and Cities

In today’s globalised, knowledge-driven and networked world, regions and cities have assumed heightened significance as the interconnected nodes of economic, social and cultural production, and as sites of new modes of economic governance and policy experimentation. This book series brings together incisive and critically engaged international and interdisciplinary research on this resurgence of regions and cities, and should be of interest to geographers, economists, sociologists, political scientists and cultural scholars, as well as to policy-makers involved in regional and urban development.

If you would like to discuss a potential new book for the series, please contact:

Joan Fitzgerald – – Series Editor-in-Chief, or

Natalie Tomlinson – – Routledge Commissioning Editor

For more information on the Regional Studies Association, visit


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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economics / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Human Geography