A critical analysis of the relationship between the State and wildlife crime. Case: Rhino poaching in South Africa

Gaustadsæther, Ida Wæhle (2016-12)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2016.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Abstract South Africa is undoubtedly one of the most vulnerable countries in the world when it comes to wildlife crime. Regardless of the increased focus on combating wildlife crime and curbing demand, poaching numbers continue to rise in South Africa. In order to understand why this crime is so difficult to tackle, there is a need not only to examine the sophisticated methods of wildlife crime groups but also the environment in which this practice breeds. Reviewing the literature on transnational organised crime reveals significant factors about what kinds of climates are specifically favourable for the operations of criminal syndicates. The study then will explore which of these elements can be identified in South Africa and whether this can provide more insight into the challenges that South Africa is facing regarding the poaching crisis. The study argues that internal factors such as weak institutions, unemployment and poverty, among other things, are the driving factors behind sustaining wildlife crime in South Africa, but acknowledges that several external challenges impede anti-poaching efforts and successes. This study analyses what enables wildlife crime to operate in South Africa using International Relations and Transnational Organised Crime theory as the theoretical foundation. The field is not very well explored within traditional IR theory. Hence, this study attempts to demonstrate the relevance of wildlife crime to IR as it is transnational by nature and poses challenges to the international system as a whole. It further argues that IR scholars should embrace and acknowledge phenomena such as wildlife crime, the increased significance of criminal networks and their impact on nature, people, states and power structures.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Suid-Afrika is ongetwyfeld een van die mees kwesbare lande in die wêreld met betrekking tot natuurlewe-misdaad. Ten spyte van die groeiende fokus tot die bevegting van natuurlewemisdaad en die beteueling van aanvraag, styg stropery in Suid-Afrika nogsteeds. Om te verstaan waarom hierdie misdaad so moeilik is om aan te pak, is daar ’n behoefte om nie net die gesofistikeerde metodes van natuurlewe-misdaadgroepe nie, maar ook die omstandighede waarin hierdie praktyke beoefen word, te ondersoek. Hersiening van die literatuur oor transnasionale organiseerde misdaad openbaar gewigtige faktore oor watter soort klimaat spesifiek gunstig is vir die operasies van ’n misdaad-sindikaat. Vervolgens sal die studie ondersoek watter van hierdie elemente geïdentifieer kan word in Suid-Afrika en of dit meer insig oor die uitdagings oor die stropery-krisis in Suid-Afrika, kan verskaf. Die studie argumenteer dat interne faktore soos swak instansies, werkloosheid en armoede, onder andere , die dryfkrag agter die volhouding van stropery in Suid-Afrika is, maar gee erkening dat verskeie eksterne uitdagings die bekanting van anti-stropery insette en suksesse belemmer. Die studie analiseer wat stropery in staat stel om werksaam te wees in Suid-Afrika deur gebruik te maak van Internasionale Verhoudings (IV) en die Transnasionale Geörganiseerde Misdaad-teorie as ’n teoretiese fondasie. Die veld is nie baie goed nagevors binne die tradisionele IV-teorieë nie. Daarom probeer hierdie studie die toepaslikheid van natuurlewemisdaad tot IV demonstreer, omdat dit transnasionaal van aard is en dit uitdagings tot die internasionale sIsteem as ’n geheel veroorsaak. Verder redeneer die studie dat IV-geleerders verskynsels soos stropery, die vermeerdering van die belang van kriminele netwerke en hulle impak op natuur, mense, landsgrense en magstrukture, moet erken en aanvaar.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/100861
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