L’isola sotterranea

L'Isola sotterranea


(The Subterranean Island)

Edited by Antonietta Mazzette

FrancoAngeli 2022 Ed.

On the one hand, there is a Sardinia innovating itself and making a wise use of the material resources, a territory that reinvents a traditional know-how and belongs to the composite universe of digital technologies. On the other hand, another Sardinia exists, a subterranean land, not so widespread, consisting of that illegal social and economic part of life studied by the Social Observatory on the Development and Crime in Sardinia from 20 years on. The book takes stock of the trends in the Sardinian crime in the five-year period from 2017 to 2021, in continuation with the previous years data already addressed in the books “Dualismo in Sardegna. Il caso della criminalità” (Sardinian dualism. The crime case) (FrancoAngeli, 2019) and “Droghe e organizzazioni criminali in Sardegna” (Drugs and criminal organisations in Sardinia) (FrancoAngeli, 2021). 

The purpose of the work is twofold: the first one is to prove the possibility for the subterranean Sardinia to coexist and not to remain separated from all the other Sardinias, including those fluctuating between myth and reality; secondly, the other aim is to highlight the existence of the cultural and economic link  between the type of criminality, which characterised Sardinia over the centuries (“su connottu”), and the national and international new classification of organised crime, which has in drug trafficking and production its core business. 

The selected methodology in order to approach these themes is a multidisciplinary one: Gianni Caria, Magistrate and Public Prosecutor at the Court of Sassari, explores the legal aspects of the study; the economic themes are analysed by the researcher group formed by Domenica Dettori, Maria Gabriela Ladu and Manuela Pulina; lastly, Antonietta Mazzette, Daniele Pulino and Sara Spanu close the circle with the social aspects and factors from a primarily spatial perspective.


Read the preview of the book here


Città e territori in tempi di Pandemia. Insicurezza e paura, fiducia e socialità

Città e territori in tempi di pandemia


(Cities and territories in times of pandemic. Insecurity and fear, trust and social relations)

Edited by Antonietta Mazzette, Daniele Pulino, Sara Spanu

Franco Angeli, 2021

Millions of people’s scenarios of daily life suffered sudden and profound changes with the spread of the Sars-CoV-2 virus. Nevertheless, the fight against the pandemic is concise, by means of restrictions on freedom of movement, on everyday activities and economic life. Among the western countries, Italy was one of the first ones to register cases of contagion and to introduce quarantine and insulation measures at national level. After a brief period of return to normality during summer, the situation changed again into a state of health emergency marked by alternating and ‘peculiar’ stop and go, depending on the severity of the circumstances and the trend of the number of cases of contagion.

The considerations included in this volume originate exactly from this turning point through a research that started in the aftermath of the declaration of the emergency state and was developed by way of three specific web surveys in 2020. The book is divided in three chapters, each of which addressing various issues concerning the health crisis: the change in the link between social backgrounds and urban spaces; the new experienced insecurity condition and the alteration of the trust levels; socio-spatial dynamics with regard to the forced cohabitation. 

In conclusion, in the postface Giovanni Meloni considers the phenomenon of the underestimation of the current emergency, revealing reflections, which will be the subjects of the next project.


Droghe e organizzazioni criminali in Sardegna. Letture sociologiche ed economiche

Droghe e organizzazioni crinali in Sardegna. Letture sociologiche ed economiche


(Drugs and criminal organisations in Sardinia. Sociological and economic readings)

Edited by Antonietta Mazzette

FrancoAngeli 2021

The book aims to investigate the phenomenon of Sardinia drug trafficking in light of the last changes in crime in this area. In addition to news reports, the authors employed the judgments of the Court of Cagliari, made available by the OSCRIM. This highly informative source of analysis represents a truly unique feature for the crime related studies, allowing the research team to test both an original method and a mix of qualitative and quantitative techniques. 

Contributions from:

Romina Deriu, Domenica Dettori, Gilberto Ganassi, Maria Gabriela Ladu, Antonietta Mazzette, Mauro Mura, Manuela Pulina, Daniele Pulino, Sara Spanu

Dualismo in Sardegna. Il caso della criminalità



(Sardinian dualism. The crime case)

Edited by Antonietta Mazzette

FrancoAngeli, 2019

As regards crime, Sardinia may not be considered as a region ‘at risk’, except for some specific types of crime, such as murders (attempted and committed), attacks (non-technical ones) and illegal cultivation of cannabis. Nevertheless, crime has not the same impact on the entire territory. As a matter of fact, there is a part of Sardinia where historically detected violence still persists. This area is the Zona Centro Orientale (ZCO, the central-eastern area), which is homogeneous in terms of its socio-cultural profile and it includes the Sassari, Gallura, Nuoro, Oristano and Ogliastra territories. This same area was once the scene of forms of traditional crime, which have characterised and made known the Sardinian banditry, a flourishing theme in the Barbaricino System literature with Antonio Pigliaru as a primary source of inspiration. 

The persistence of this violent feature represents the distinctive trait of the Sardinian Dualism with regards to the island crime is concerned, ultimately adding up to the other economic and territorial forms of dualism. 

However, the book does not claim to have the answers on the persistent existence in the ZCO of these violent forms of crime, but it is developed through a series of approximations, taking into account: the effect that the regulations have on crime (Gianni Caria); critical reflections on the community (Romina Deriu); the evaluation of the costs of crime, in particular the drug-related one (Manuela Pulina, Domenica Dettori, Gabriela Ladu); the anticipation of the link between the embryonic forms of baby gang crime and the next face of a still violent Sardinian criminality (Laura Dessantis, Sara Spanu); the creation of the typical set place of all the extreme acts of violence, such as murders (Daniele Pulino). 

Antonietta Mazzette is full Professor of Urban Sociology and the OSCRIM Scientific Coordinator. Among her numerous publications are:  Il diritto alla città cinquant'anni dopo: il ruolo della sociologia urbana ("Sociologia urbana e rurale", 115, 2018); "Public Spaces and Urban Changes: the Italian Case", in Bukowski A., Frysztacki K., Smagacz-Poziemska M. (eds.), Re-Imagining the City: Municipality and Urbanity Today from a Sociological Perspective (con S. Spanu, Jagiellonian University Press, 2017); Pratiche sociali di città pubblica (Laterza, 2013).



Antonietta Mazzette, Il rapporto tra luogo e crimine: saggio introduttivo

Gianni Caria, L'influenza delle norme sull'andamento della criminalità

Romina Deriu, La comunità tra immaginario e conflitto

Domenica Dettori, Maria Gabriela Ladu, Manuela Pulina, Quanto vale il mercato degli stupefacenti in Italia? Un'analisi regionale

Laura DessantisSara Spanu, I nuovi protagonisti: il fenomeno delle "baby gang"

Daniele Pulino, Gli scenari delle interazioni violente. Il caso degli omicidi


Ogliastra - Mutamenti socio-territoriali e criminalità



(Ogliastra -  Socio-territorial changes and crime)

Edited by Camillo Tidore

CUEC | University Press Ricerche Sociali​

Since the beginning of the twenty-first century, several studies have identified in some central-eastern Sardinian areas what is known as the longevity blue zone, because of its worldwide highest incidence of centenarians among the local population. This was the prelude of a new and popular representation of Ogliastra ongoing over the last ten years as a place where it is not that unusual, but a reality instead, to have a life expectancy of a hundred years. 

This image may also be combined with another rather less encouraging portrayal of Ogliastra, often featured in news reports and in local and regional political debates. As a matter of fact, the same period in Ogliastra also stands out for its high crime rate regarding specific types of violent crimes, actually changing the colour of the zone from blue to red in mapping Sardinian criminal activities. These and others are amongst the elements of ambivalence that lead to a reflection on the specific social and territorial conditions which distinguish this area from the rest of the Sardinian territory. 

The study of these characteristic conditions is one of the main goals of the OSCRIM empirical research, coordinated by Antonietta Mazette, that has been carried on for a decade already. The essays collected in this volume are the result of this analysis and aim to provide some interpretations on recent criminal phenomena and their connection to the social-territorial structure within which they take place, through the search of the appropriate methodological tools in order to better understand a complex and ever-changing phenomenology.



CAMILLO TIDORE, Professor of Sociology of the Territory and the Environment


DOMENICA DETTORI, graduated specialist and press research of the OSCRIM


MANUELA PULINA, Professor of Fundamentals of Economy and Political Economy 

DANIELE PULINO, researcher of Political phenomena Sociology  

MARIA LAURA RUIU, PhD in Urban Sociology

SARA SPANU, researcher of Sociology of the Territory and the Environment

Gli attentati in Sardegna - Scena e retroscena della violenza

libro attentati


(Attacks in Sardinia. Scene and backstory of violence)

Edited by Antonietta Mazzette and Daniele Pulino

(CUEC) May, 2016


Following the string of acts of intimidations against mayors, the phenomenon of attacks has recently acquired a central political and media role. The last acts of violence have led the Sardinia Region and the Anci (National Association of Italian Municipalities) to the identification of intervention policies in order to confront the issue. 

One of the proposals the Ministry of the Interior has taken charge of was the establishing of a political-institutional type of National Observatory. Moreover, the Anci released a document which requests the following interventions: surveillance networks, intelligence activities, law enforcement territorial defence, regulatory changes in order to tighten the penalties with regards to crime against local administrators. 

It is not within the purview of this book to go into details on the role of the Observatory, nor on the Anci proposals. As researchers, the only task is to publish the results of the study. Nevertheless, it is within our beliefs that in order to carry out the research assignment in the most appropriate way, one should fulfil the tasks independently and regardless of politics.  


This volume is the result of several years of research and it is intended as a contribution to the discussion. Nonetheless, it is of the uppermost importance to highlight a crucial aspect: the phenomenon of the attacks in the Sardinian territory must be considered alarming also because it targets a wide rage of social actors, including local administrators which, albeit is important role in terms of democratic defence, it is only a small part of it all. Therefore, each and every intervention cannot be restricted exclusively to support local administrators, but it must take account for the entire society too. 

In this respect, the idea of a video surveillance network and the transformation of Sardinia in some sort of panopticon appears to be rather difficult to implement, especially through the entire territory.

To sum up, this book aims to submit a new reading and contrast method on the phenomenon of the attacks, focusing on ritual acts of violence (in other terms, what the perpetrators of a crime do), in order to assemble a social identity of the prototypical perpetrator (since they are usually unknown). 

Simultaneously, the purpose is also to discuss and study the locations where the attacks take place. This does not mean failing the analysis on the victims; on the other hand, it is the means by which it would be possible to find the answers in order to prevent and precisely protect the victims. 

The Social Observatory on the Development and Crime in Sardinia (OSCRIM) collects real-time data, day-to-day. All this is made possible by the constant support of the Fondazione Sardegna and by the L. r. n. 7, by means of which the “Sistema informativo e governance delle politiche di intervento e contrasto dei fenomeni criminali in Sardegna” study has been successfully carried out and the results of which have been included in spaces and places of the attacks chapter.

Some important acknowledgements are required: Domenica Dettori, for her hard work on data collection and database update on attacks; Giacomo Mameli, Giovanni Meloni and Sara Spanu, for their attentive reading and their fundamental comments and suggestions; lastly, the whole OSCRIM team.