• [(Criminalisation of the State in Africa)] [Author: Jean-Francois Bayart] published on (January, 1999)

  • Jean-Francois Bayart

This book examines the growth of fraud and smuggling in African states, the plundering of natural resources, the privatization of state institutions, the development of an economy of plunder and the growth of private armies. It suggests that the state itself is becoming a vehicle for organized criminal activity. The authors propose criteria for gauging the criminalization of African states and present a novel prognosis: they distinguish between the corruption of previous decades and the criminalization of some African states now taking place. Major operators are now able to connect with global criminal networks. Also, the notion of "social capital" has led to current attitudes towards the use of public office for personal enrichment, or even systematic illegality. Looking at South Africa, the authors examine the decades-long tradition of association between crime and politics in this area. South Africa is now the centre of important international patterns of crime, notably in the drug trade. It has Africa's largest formal economy and the continent's largest criminal economy. Considering the economic origins of official implication in crime, the authors conclude that new forms of corruption have been unintentionally helped by liberal economic reforms.