Smuggling ideologies: From criminalization to hybrid governance in African clandestine economies

Smuggling ideologies: From criminalization to hybrid governance in African clandestine economies

Author: 
Meagher, Kate
Publisher: 
Oxford University Press (OUP)
Date published: 
2014
Record type: 
Region: 
Journal Title: 
African Affairs
Source: 
African Affairs, Vol. 113, No. 453, October 2014, pp. 497-517
Abstract: 

This article explores shifting perspectives on African clandestine economies. Previously condemned as products of clientelism and corruption, clandestine economies are attracting renewed interest for their developmental potential in weak state contexts. Focusing on systems of illicit cross-border trade in East and West Africa, this article shows that more favourable views of clandestine trading activities are driven more by their compatibility with liberal reform agendas than by their positive contribution to local development. Indeed, the optimistic turn in perspectives on illicit African trade glosses over its increasingly negative impact on local security and development. While discourses of violence and criminalization were used to characterize the largely peaceful cross-border trading systems in West Africa in the 1990s, new discourses of hybrid governance and state building are used to frame the more violent and socially disruptive cross-border trading complexes of East Africa in the 2000s.

Language: 

CITATION: Meagher, Kate. Smuggling ideologies: From criminalization to hybrid governance in African clandestine economies . : Oxford University Press (OUP) , 2014. African Affairs, Vol. 113, No. 453, October 2014, pp. 497-517 - Available at: https://library.au.int/smuggling-ideologies-criminalization-hybrid-governance-african-clandestine-economies-30