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Tycoons and contraband: informal cross-border trade in West Nile, north-western Uganda

Kristof Titeca (UGent)
Author
Organization
Abstract
This article presents ethnographic evidence on the activities of the "tycoons'' - large-scale cross-border contraband traders in north-western Uganda. It shows how engagement with state officials, but also integration in the broader community are two crucial aspects which explain the functioning of informal cross-border trade or "smuggling'' in north-western Uganda. In doing so, it shows how, although there is a high degree of interaction between the "formal'' and the "informal'', the informal economy still has a distinct regulatory authority rather than simply merging in the state regulatory framework. Secondly, the regulatory authority governing this trade has a distinct plural character: rather than being either a "weapon of the weak'' for marginalised sections of the population or a "weapon of the strong'' for political elites, it has a much more ambiguous character, which influences the behaviour of the tycoons: both of these interactions limit the maneuvering space of these traders.
Keywords
West Nile, Uganda, smuggling, cross-border trade, informal economy, GHANA, STATE

Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

MLA
Titeca, Kristof. “Tycoons and Contraband: Informal Cross-border Trade in West Nile, North-western Uganda.” JOURNAL OF EASTERN AFRICAN STUDIES 6.1 (2012): 47–63. Print.
APA
Titeca, Kristof. (2012). Tycoons and contraband: informal cross-border trade in West Nile, north-western Uganda. JOURNAL OF EASTERN AFRICAN STUDIES, 6(1), 47–63.
Chicago author-date
Titeca, Kristof. 2012. “Tycoons and Contraband: Informal Cross-border Trade in West Nile, North-western Uganda.” Journal of Eastern African Studies 6 (1): 47–63.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Titeca, Kristof. 2012. “Tycoons and Contraband: Informal Cross-border Trade in West Nile, North-western Uganda.” Journal of Eastern African Studies 6 (1): 47–63.
Vancouver
1.
Titeca K. Tycoons and contraband: informal cross-border trade in West Nile, north-western Uganda. JOURNAL OF EASTERN AFRICAN STUDIES. 2012;6(1):47–63.
IEEE
[1]
K. Titeca, “Tycoons and contraband: informal cross-border trade in West Nile, north-western Uganda,” JOURNAL OF EASTERN AFRICAN STUDIES, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 47–63, 2012.
@article{4105789,
  abstract     = {This article presents ethnographic evidence on the activities of the "tycoons'' - large-scale cross-border contraband traders in north-western Uganda. It shows how engagement with state officials, but also integration in the broader community are two crucial aspects which explain the functioning of informal cross-border trade or "smuggling'' in north-western Uganda. In doing so, it shows how, although there is a high degree of interaction between the "formal'' and the "informal'', the informal economy still has a distinct regulatory authority rather than simply merging in the state regulatory framework. Secondly, the regulatory authority governing this trade has a distinct plural character: rather than being either a "weapon of the weak'' for marginalised sections of the population or a "weapon of the strong'' for political elites, it has a much more ambiguous character, which influences the behaviour of the tycoons: both of these interactions limit the maneuvering space of these traders.},
  author       = {Titeca, Kristof},
  issn         = {1753-1055},
  journal      = {JOURNAL OF EASTERN AFRICAN STUDIES},
  keywords     = {West Nile,Uganda,smuggling,cross-border trade,informal economy,GHANA,STATE},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {47--63},
  title        = {Tycoons and contraband: informal cross-border trade in West Nile, north-western Uganda},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17531055.2012.664703},
  volume       = {6},
  year         = {2012},
}

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