Not all Madams Have a Central Role: Analysis of a Nigerian Sex Trafficking Network

Marina Mancuso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This article applies social network analysis to a case study to analyze the role of madams in an Nigerian sex trafficking network. Using relational data on telephone conversations, the main centrality measures are calculated. They are interrelated with the roles of all the members of the network. The analysis confirms the importance of madams already highlighted by many academics, but surprisingly it also shows that not all madams are equally central in terms of their brokerage positions. Indeed, two different groups of madams are identified according to their betweenness centrality, which is the measure that best reveals the strategic positioning of the nodes within a network. The content analysis and description of the madams’ ego networks demonstrate that the main requirements for occupying a brokerage role are (i) being able to operate also outside Italian borders, and (ii) being at the same time part of relational systems involving “transnational” people whose action extends beyond national borders.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-88
Number of pages21
JournalTrends in Organized Crime
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Centrality
  • Madams
  • Network analysis
  • Sex trafficking


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