Trade 'outside the law': Uzbek and Afghan transnational merchants between Yiwu and South-Central Asia

Ibanez-Tirado, Diana and Marsden, Magnus (2020) Trade 'outside the law': Uzbek and Afghan transnational merchants between Yiwu and South-Central Asia. Central Asian Survey. pp. 1-20. ISSN 0263-4937

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Abstract

This article analyses the trajectories of two transnational networks present in the Chinese city of Yiwu: Afghan merchants who trade goods in and out Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Pakistan, and Uzbek traders (citizens of either Tajikistan or Uzbekistan) who commercialise their merchandise in and out Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Russia. Our aim is to capture an ethnographically grounded understanding of informal markets and economies by analysing the notion of trade “outside the law” including the contested yet widely used category of “the smuggler”. By paying attention to the fluidity of trading practices “outside the law”, we also address the uses and limitations of metaphors widely used in scholarly analysis of informal markets: notably those of “lower” and “higher” forms of globalisation, and the transposition of formal-legal and informal-illegal exchanges onto the notions of economic “centres” and “peripheries”.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: trade, smuggling, illegality, informality, markets, globalisation
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Anthropology
Research Centres and Groups: Sussex Asia
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology > GN301 Ethnology. Social and cultural anthropology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology > GN301 Ethnology. Social and cultural anthropology > GN357 Culture and cultural processes Including social change, structuralism, diffusion, etc.
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology > GN301 Ethnology. Social and cultural anthropology > GN370 Migrations of peoples (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology > GN301 Ethnology. Social and cultural anthropology > GN406 Cultural traits, customs, and institutions
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Depositing User: Diana Ibanez-Tirado
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2020 08:04
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2020 16:00
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/89727

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Project NameSussex Project NumberFunderFunder Ref
Trust, Global Traders and Cheap Commodities in a Chinese International City (TRODITIES)G1723EUROPEAN UNION669132