The illicit arms trade in states in transition : a comparative study of South Africa and Croatia

Tukic, Nusa (2011-12)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2011.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This research study aims to analyze the illicit arms trade in states in transition. While both the study of the illicit arms trade and the study of states in transition per se, are characterized by a variety of concepts and debates within academia, this study attempts to establish a coherent and concise connection between the two. Therefore, the main research question is: How do the capacity gaps of social control, social welfare, border control and legitimacy contribute to the proliferation of the illicit arms trade in states in transition? For the purpose of this study, the researcher uses the theoretical framework based on capacity gaps and functional holes as outlined by Phil Williams (2002). Williams (2002) states that organized crime and transnational organized crime (TOC), which the illicit arms trade is a part of, flourish in states that are weakened by capacity gaps and where the accompanying functional holes open up the way for organized crime and TOC to work with impunity. The seven capacity gaps that Williams (2002) outlines are: social control, social welfare, business regulation, oversight and accountability, border control, legitimacy and electoral norms and patterns. However, this thesis does not focus on all seven capacity gaps; instead, only the capacity gaps of social control, social welfare, border control and legitimacy are analysed. This decision has been based on the literature by Williams (2002), Migdal (1988), Beck and Laeven (2006), who suggest that a state in transition cannot complete its transitional period and become a consolidated democracy if high levels of social control, social welfare, respect for the rule of law and legitimacy are not obtained. Moreover, this research study conducts a comparative analysis of two states in transition, South Africa and Croatia, which have both been experiencing difficulties with TOC and the illicit arms trade, and where both states still have not completed their transitional period, and are thus not consolidated democracies. This research does not imply that the findings of this study are applicable to all states in transition; the focus is rather on how the four capacity gaps and functional holes that this research focused on contribute to the proliferation of the illicit arms trade in South Africa and Croatia. The findings indicate that due to high levels of corruption within the judicial system and police, the citizens of South Africa and Croatia lack trust in the states’ capacity to impose social control, which in turn opens the way for organized criminal groups to work with impunity. Furthermore, the social welfare capacity gap contributes to the rise in levels of organized crime and the illicit arms trade due to the fact that levels of inequality and unemployment force the citizens of South Africa and Croatia to look for alternative survival strategies, usually those that organized criminal groups can provide them with. Moreover, the lack of resources and corruption among custom officials and police staff, serve as opportunities for organized criminal groups to traffic illicit goods over South Africa and Croatia’s borders; thus indicating a functional hole in the states interdictory capacity and an overall gap in the states capacity to control its borders. Lastly, due to the South African and Croatian citizens’ lack of trust in the institutions and the state apparatus in general, the capacity gap of legitimacy is visible. This in turn opens the way for organized criminal groups to use patron-client relationships with the citizens of South Africa and Croatia, in order to build and sustain a level of popular legitimacy that the state is lacking.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie navorsingsprojek streef daarna om die onwettige handel in wapens as deel van transnasionale georganiseerde misdaad binne state in transisie te analiseer. Alhoewel navorsing in die onwettige handel van wapens, asook die studie van state in transisie gekenmerk word deur vele konsepte en debatte binne die velde; poog hierdie studie om die twee konsepte in ʼn duidelike en presiese manier te verbind. In die lig hiervan is die navorsings vraag: Hoe dra die kapasiteitsgapings van sosiale beheer, sosiale welvaart, grens kontrole en legitimiteit by tot die volhoubaarheid van die onwettige handel in wapens in state in transisie? Vir die doel van hierdie studie het die navorser besluit om gebruik te maak van die teoretiese raamwerk gebaseer op kapasiteitsgapings en funksionele-openinge soos beskryf deur Phil Williams (2002). Wiliams (2002) voer aan dat georganiseerde misdaad en transnasionale misdaad, waarvan die onwettige handel in wapens ʼn deel uitmaak, floreer in state wat verswak is deur kapasitietsgapings; en waar bygaande funksionele-openinge die weg baan vir transnasionale misdaad om te floreer. Die sewe kapasiteitsgapings soos deur Williams (2002) beskryf is: sosiale beheer, sosiale welvaart, besigheid-regulering, oorsig en aanspreeklikheid, grens kontrole, legitimiteit en verkiesings norme en patrone. Hierdie tesis fokus egter nie op al sewe kapasiteitsgapings nie. Daar word slegs gefokus op die kapasiteitsgapings van sosiale beheer, sosiale welvaart, grens kontrole en legitimiteit. Hierdie besluit is gebaseer op literatuur deur William (2002), Joel S. Migdal (1988), Thorsten Beck en Luc Laeven (2006) en dies meer wat voorstel dat ʼn staat in transisie nie die transisie periode kan voltooi en ʼn vaste demokrasie kan raak indien hoe vlakke van sosiale beheer, sosiale welvaart, respek vir wet en orde en legitimiteit nie verkry word nie. Verder maak hierdie navorsing gebruik van ʼn vergelykende analise tussen twee state in transisie: Suid Afrika en Kroasië. Beide hierdie state ervaar probleme met trans-nasionale misdaad en die onwettige handel in wapens. Beide het ook nog nie hul transisie periode voltooi nie en is dus nie vaste of gekonsolideerde demokrasieë nie. Hoewel die navorser nie aanvoer dat die bevindinge van hierdie studie van toepassing is op alle state in transisie nie, probeer die navorser vasstel hoe die vier kapasiteitsgapings en funksionele-openinge bydrae tot die volhoubaarheid van die onwettige handel in wapens in Suid Afrika en Kroasië. Die bevindinge dui daarop dat as gevolg van hoë vlakke van korrupsie binne die regstelsel en polisie, die bevolking van Suid Afrika en Kroasië nie die staat se kapasiteit om sosiale beheer te handhaaf, vertrou nie. Dit maak die gaping oop vir georganiseerde misdaad om sonder teenkant te handel. Verder, die sosiale welvaart gaping, dra by tot die toename in die vlakke van georganiseerde misdaad en die onwettige handel in wapens as gevolg van hoë vlakke van ongelykheid en armoede, wat die bevolking van Suid Afrika en Kroasië dwing tot alternatiewe metodes van oorlewing wat gewoonlik deur georganiseerde misdaad groepe verskaf word. Verder, die gebrek aan toerusting en ook korrupsie binne grensbeheer en polisie lede, verskaf die geleentheid vir georganiseerde misdaad groepe om in onwettige goedere te handel. Dit dui op die funksionele gaping in die staat se beheersmeganismes en oor die algemeen ʼn gaping in die staat se kapasiteit om grense te beheer. Ten laaste, as gevolg van die gebrek aan vertroue van die bevolking in die strukture van die staat Suid Afrika en Kroasië is die kapasitietsgaping van legitimiteit duidelik teenwoordig. Dit open die weg vir georganiseerde misdaad groepe om populêre gesag op te bou, wat daar nie is by die regering van die lande nie.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/17921
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