The state as a facilitator in the illicit global political economy : Guinea-Bissau and the global cocaine trade

Zeidler, Andreas (2011-03)

Thesis (MA)--University of Stellenbosch, 2011.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This research study aims to approach illicit market activity, particularly transnational organ-ised crime, from a political-economy point of view. The study of illicit market activity is characterised by various and often ambiguous concepts and approaches. The benefits of a political-economy approach include the provision of an alternative view of the illicit, combin-ing aspects from these various approaches. The study of the Global Political Economy (GPE) examines the relationship between authority, mostly in the form of states, and markets. This thesis looks at the relationship between the state and illicit markets. It does so by using the concept Illicit Global Political Economy (IGPE), which is defined as concerning the social, political and economic arrangements affecting the global systems of illicit production, ex-change and distribution, and the mix of values reflected therein. States, illicit markets and criminal actors are considered here as interdependent and interrelated parts of the IGPE spe-cifically, and the overall GPE. Within this relationship several „roles‟ of the state are identi-fied: the state as a creator and regulator of the illicit, through its legislative and executive au-thorities; the state as a locale of the illicit, as home, host, transhipment or service state for transnational criminal activities; the state as a victim of the illicit, for example, through the inherent nature of crime denying the state´s jurisdiction over its territory and also through the use of violence or corruption by criminals; and the state as a facilitator for illicit activity, meaning that certain characteristics of states can enable illicit activity. This thesis is primarily concerned with the last role of the state. It is argued that certain characteristics of states, par-ticularly weak and transitional states, enable the state´s exploitation by criminal actors. In the framework provided by Phil Williams (2002) seven of these characteristics are referred to as capacity gaps, which can result in functional holes, possibly enabling illicit activity. The pri-mary research question of this thesis is, consequently: Is the role of the state as a facilitator in the IGPE enabled by the existence of capacity gaps and functional holes? The West African state of Guinea-Bissau has been chosen as a case study for its role as a transhipment state in the global cocaine trade. In the first part of the analytical process of this thesis, the global cocaine trade and its historical development are described and analysed for the social, political and economic arrangements affecting it. This highlights the im-portance of taking into account these arrangements for a full understanding of the illicit. Addi-tionally, an analysis of the political-economy of Guinea-Bissau provides the necessary back-ground for understanding the second part of this thesis´ approach. Here, the state of Guinea-Bissau is examined firstly for the existence of capacity gaps and functional holes. If they are found to exist, whether and how they are being used by cocaine traffickers is examined. It was found that six out of seven capacity gaps exist in Guinea-Bissau, most of which are being used by the cocaine traffickers. The involvement of the military in the drug trade in combina-tion with its apparent extra-judicial standing is found to be of particular importance for the cocaine traffickers. This analysis allows for the research question to be answered positively. Moreover, the thesis can be considered to generally affirm the usefulness of a political-economy approach to analysing the illicit and affirms specifically the usefulness of the con-cept of the IGPE.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie navorsingstudie poog om onwettige markaktiwiteite, spesifiek transnasionale georganiseerde misdaad, uit 'n politiek-ekonomiese standpunt te benader. Die studie van die onwettige word gekarakteriseer deur verskeie en dikwels dubbelsinnige konsepte en benaderings. Die voordele van 'n politiek-ekonomiese benadering sluit die voorsiening van 'n alternatiewe beskouing van die onwettige dus 'n kombinasie van aspekte van die verskillende benaderings. Die studie van Globale Politieke Ekonomie (GPE) fokus op die verhouding tussen gesag, meestal in die vorm van die state en markte. Hierdie tesis fokus op die verhouding tussen die staat en onwettige markte. Dit word gedoen deur gebruik te maak van die konsep Onwettige Globale Politieke Ekonomie (OGPE), wat gedefinieer kan word as die sosiale, politieke en ekonomiese reëlings wat die globale sisteem van onwettige produksie, wisseling en dustribusie affekteer, en die vermenging van waardes wat daardeur gereflekteer word. State, markte en kriminele akteurs word hier beskou as afhanklike en onderliggende dele van die OGPE, spesifiek, en die algehele GPE. Binne hierdie verhouding kan daar verskeie „rolle‟ van die staat geïdentifiseer word: die staat as skepper en reguleerder van die onwettige deur die wetgewende en uitvoerende gesag; die staat as lokaliteit van die onwettige, as tuiste, gasheer, oorskeping of diens staat vir transnasionale georganiseerde misdaadaktiwiteite; die staat as slagoffer van die onwettige, byvoorbeeld deur die inherente natuur van misdaad wat die staat se jurisdiksie oor sy grense ontneem asook deur die gebruik van geweld of korrupsie deur kriminele; en die staat as fasiliteerder vir onwettige aktiwiteite, wat beteken dat sekere eienskappe van die staat onwettige aktiwiteite moontlik maak. Hierdie tesis fokus spesifiek op laasgenoemde rol van die staat. Daar word geargumenteer dat sekere eienskappe van state, meer spesifiek swak en oorgangstate, dit makliker maak vir kriminele akteurs om die staat uit te buit. In die raamwerk wat voorgestel word deur Phil Williams (2002) word daar sewe van hierdie eienskappe geïdentifiseer en verwys na as kapasiteitsopeninge wat funksionele gapings kan veroorsaak, en so onwettinge aktiwiteite moontlik maak. Die primêre navorsingsvraag van hierdie tesis is gevolglik: Word die rol van die staat as fasiliteerder in die OGPE moontlik gemaak deur die teenwoordigheid van kapasiteitsopeninge en funksionele gapings? Die Wes-Afrika staat Guinee-Bissau dien as gevallestudie vir sy rol as oorskeep staat in globale handel in kokaïen. In die eerste gedeelte van die analitiese proses van hierdie tesis, word globale handel in kokaïen en die historiese ontwikkeling daarvan beskryf en geanaliseer vir die sosiale, politieke en ekonomiese reëlings wat ‟n impak daarop het. Dit bring die belangrikheid van die inagneming van hierdie reëlings, indien die onwettige verstaan wil word, na vore. 'n Addisonele analiese van die politieke ekonomie van Guinee-Bissau verskaf die nodige agtergrond- informasie om die tweede gedeelte van hierdie tesis se benadering te verstaan. Hier die staat Guinee-Bissau word eerstens ondersoek vir die teenwoordigheid van kapasiteitsopeninge en funksionele gapings, en tweedens hoe dit gebruik word deur kokaïen smokkelaars. Die studie vind dat ses vanuit die sewe kapasiteitsopeninge wel in Guinee-Bissau voorkom en gebruik word deur smokkelaars. Die wederregtelike rol van die landmag, wat gewoonlik die smokkelaars ondersteun, is vir die smokkelaars baie belangrik. Hierdie analiese laat dit toe dat die navorsingsvraag positief beantwoord word. Verder, in hierdie tesis word die bruikbaarheid van 'n politiek-ekonomiese aanslag tot die onwettige en die spesifieke teoretiese fondasies daarvan bevestig.

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