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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:A Back Door to Globalisation? Structural Adjustment, Globalisation and Transborder Trade in West Africa
Author:Meagher, KateISNI
Periodical:Review of African Political Economy
Geographic term:West Africa
Subjects:global economy
economic policy
illicit trade
Inter-African Relations
Economics and Trade
External links:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03056240308374
Abstract:Neoliberal economic reforms were widely expected to rein in Africa's unofficial transborder trade through liberalization and closer integration into the global economy. Instead of disappearing in the face of structural adjustment and globalization, however, West African transborder trading systems have been restructured and globalized. This paper analyses how the West African experience of economic restructuring has led to an expansion and deepening of unofficial trade, as well as the globalization of its activities. A clear understanding of this process has been blurred by the ideological manipulation of perspectives on informal economic activity by proponents of the neoliberal reforms. By means of a deconstruction of populist analyses and more recent narratives of criminalization, this paper traces the contemporary evolution of transborder trade. The conclusion reached is that, while transborder trading structures represent important institutional resources for economic development, they are structurally incapable of integrating West Africa into the global economy in the absence of an appropriate regulatory framework. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract]