Competition for Powers in Former Soviet Union

Oxford University Press

“Criminals, Nazis, and Islamists: Competition for Powers in Former Soviet Union Prisons” examines conflicts and cooperation between inmates in male prisons in the former Soviet Union. It looks at how Vory criminal organization, that began in 1930 the was able to develop rules, norms, and unique criminal ideology to ensure their monopoly in prison internal governance. In particular this book discusses the organization of inmates life inside prisons and how Vory criminal organization governs it.

Being not only able to establish control over inmates, Vory criminal organization also successfully stood up against prison authorities to make inmates life behind bars as comfortable as possible, and a consequence ensure its own survival in power. So this book also discusses how Vory criminal organization in prison uses different methods, from strikes to bloody riots, to put pressure on prison leadership.

With the fall of Soviet Union in 1990th and a following commercialization of criminal organization, Vory started loosing their grip on prisons. So this book also reviews how Islamists and Neo Nazis, other major organizations behind bars across former Soviet Union, are currently challenging Vory criminal organization and what happens when they take power inside particular prisons and have to govern themselves.