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Title: Customs control over illicit international trade: The impact of different forms of illegality
Authors: Smart, Alan
Keywords: Anthropology of the state;Smuggling;Customs;Illegalities;Legitimacy
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: associazione nazionale universitaria degli antropologi culturali
Citation: Smart, Alan (2015). "Customs control over illicit international trade: The impact of different forms of illegality." ANUAC 4(1): 42-65.
Abstract: This article examines a process central to the anthropological understanding of the state, how smuggling persists despite diverting a large portion of the revenues critical to the operation of state organizations. Developing the author’s prior typology of basic reasons why illegal practices persist, the article argues that there are five distinct types of smuggling, related to factors such as the social legitimacy of the activity. Legitimacy appears to make control much more difficult, but the availability of profits is also a key factor that can operate in the absence of social legitimacy, and which can contribute to the corruption of state officials. The result of intensified enforcement crackdowns also differs between the types, affecting the nature of the organization of smuggling practices. I conclude that the exploration of diversity among smuggling practices demonstrates the advantages of avoiding a treatment of illegality in general terms, and to pluralize the concept to understand the diverse motivations and forms that illegal practices can take.
Appears in Collections:Smart, Alan

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