Globalization and the Emergence of Violent Non-state Actors: The Case of Human Trafficking

This study examines the impact of globalization on the emergence of human trafficking as a transnational security threat. The author discusses the relationship between globalization and violent non-state actors (VNSAs), seeing human trafficking as
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  Tatiana Zhidkova* Globalization and the Emergence of ViolentNon-state Actors: The Case of HumanTrafficking   Abstract:  This study examines the impact of globalization on the emergence of human trafficking as a transnational security threat. The author discusses therelationship between globalization and violent non-state actors (VNSAs), seeinghuman trafficking as one of VNSAs threatening the state in the age of globaliza-tion. The erosion of state sovereignty and emergence of transnational organizedcrime are analyzed in an attempt to understand the role of globalization intransforming human trafficking into a transnational challenge. Keywords:  globalization, violent non-state actors, human trafficking, organizedcrime DOI 10.1515/ngs-2014-0014 Much has been written about the globalization and the demise of state sovereignty that it entailed. Making the line between domestic and international realms of politics increasingly blurred, globalization questioned and challenged theWestphalian order with its priority on sovereign nation-states. As Smith andGuarnizo (1998, 3) note, the discourses on  “ globalization ”  and the  “ crisis of thenation state ”  have been provoked by the worldwide expansion of transnationalcapital and mass media. These discourses continue to dominate many of thecontemporary theoretical works in the International Relations (IR) field. For exam-ple, Lake (2008, 52) argues that despite the fact that globalization has been createdby the states themselves through economic liberalization, this process operatesmainly through the activity of non-state actors (NSAs) such as  “ individuals, firms,sectors, and other nonstate groups, including transnational advocacy networks. ” So, what is globalization? To put it in a nutshell, it is  “ the world-spanningintensification of interconnectedness ”  (Vertovec 2009, 54). In a more extendedway, Keohane (2002, 194) defines it as the  “ increasing volume and speed of flows of capital and goods, information and ideas, people and forces that *Corresponding author: Tatiana Zhidkova,  International Relations, Bilkent University, Bilkent,Ankara 06800, Turkey, E-mail: tatianaz@bilkent.edu.trNew Global Studies 2015; 9(1): 1 – 25 Authenticated | tatianaz@bilkent.edu.tr author s copyDownload Date | 4/23/15 9:37 PM  connect actors between countries. ”  These  “ flows ”  represent interactionsbetween citizens of different countries that take place without the sanctions of the national governments. Pioneering the study of globalization and transna-tionalism, Keohane and Nye (1971, 332) identified four major types of globalinteraction: (1) communication, or the movement of information, including thetransmission of beliefs, ideas and doctrines; (2) transportation, the movement of physical objects, including war materiel and personal property as well as mer-chandise; (3) finance, the movement of money and instruments of credit; and (4)travel, the movement of persons.This study focuses on the fourth type of interaction identified by Keohaneand Nye (1971), which is the movement of persons, but the author sees it as notonly the voluntary movement (travel and migration), but also as the involuntary one (human trafficking and forced migration). This study examines the impact of globalization on the emergence of human trafficking as a transnational security threat. The links between globalization and transnational organized crime havebeen studied by many scholars (Mittelman and Johnston 1999; Bagley 2001;Weinstein 2008), and many of them examined human trafficking as a case study for studying the links between globalization and organized crime (seeSchloenhardt 1999; Finckenauer 2001; Koslowski 2001; Truong 2001; Väyrynen2003; Farr 2005; Shelley 2007; 2010; Bertone 2008; Nagle 2008; Renshaw 2008;Cullen-DuPont 2009; Rahman 2011; Peerapeng et al. 2012). However, this study is different from previous works because it applies a violent non-state actor(VNSA) theoretical framework in order to study the impact of globalization onhuman trafficking. To this end, in the first section of the paper the authorexamines the impact of globalization on the erosion of state sovereignty. Inthe second section, the relationship between globalization and NSAs is dis-cussed. In the third section, the concept of VNSA as a product of globalizationis explained. In the fourth section, human trafficking as one of VNSAs threaten-ing the state in the age of globalization is analyzed. Finally, in the concludingsection some remarks on the role of globalization in the emergence of transna-tional human trafficking are provided, and ways of dealing with human traffick-ing as a transnational challenge are discussed. 1 Globalization and the Erosion of StateSovereignty  It can be argued that the most significant changes that globalization has broughtto the international environment are the erosion of state sovereignty and the 2  T. Zhidkova Authenticated | tatianaz@bilkent.edu.tr author s copyDownload Date | 4/23/15 9:37 PM  emergence of NSAs. According to Sergounin (2005, 122),  “ the entire world facesprocesses such as the erosion of the nation-state and national sovereignty, and ashift of power from the national level toward supranational and subnationalinstitutions. ”  In a globalized world, states can no longer exercise full controlover all the aspects of the life of their citizens. Even such a  “ stronghold ”  of statepower as security domain has been subject to changes because of globalization.As Adamson (2005, 32 – 33) puts it, globalization creates incentives for new economic and political actors to engage in transnational activity.This tendency is equally applicable to both  “ good ”  and  “ bad ”  NSAs. Forexample, globalization granted new opportunities of technology and informa-tion exchange to NGOs and human rights movements to the same extent as itfacilitated the emergence of terrorist networks and transnational crime. TheInternet in particular has allowed NGOs such as  Greenpeace  or  Doctors without  Borders  to raise money for their activities and recruit new volunteers, but thesame is also true for the terrorist organizations such as Al Qaeda or Hezbollah.However, it also means that theoretical mechanisms used for the study of  “ good ”  actors such as the network analogy can also be utilized in the study of  “ bad ”  NSAs or VNSAs.An interesting argument was put forward by Rosenau (2003) in his book entitled  Distant Proximities . Rosenau emphasizes the ongoing processes of glo-balization and localization that are currently taking place in the world today. Auseful concept suggested by Rosenau (2003, 11) is  fragmegration  (fragmentationplus integration) by which he means  “ the pervasive interaction between frag-menting and integrating dynamics unfolding at every level of community. ”  Forexample, people all over the world become increasingly divided or fragmentedaccording to their interests, political views, gender, etc., but at the same timethey are increasingly united or integrated in social communities such as Internetor other technologies available to them. As Rosenau concludes (2003, 19), very few people disagree with the fact that the advancement of technology hasresulted in the transformation of time and space, and the alteration of thewhole sovereignty concept.Thus, globalization has led to the demise of state authority and the growingsignificance of NSAs. Despite the Realist claims that states are not going to giveup their positions very easily, today it is clear that the impact of globalizationand transnationalism should be definitely taken into account. This is especially true for security studies where traditional hierarchy-based forms of organizationare increasingly being replaced by networks, as in the case of terrorism, drugtrafficking and trafficking in human beings (Asal and Nussbaum 2007; Sageman2008; Lindelauf and Borm 2009). Consequently, successful struggle againstthese challenges will also mean utilizing the network structures in the Globalization and the Emergence of Violent Non-state Actors  3 Authenticated | tatianaz@bilkent.edu.tr author s copyDownload Date | 4/23/15 9:37 PM  cooperation between the states across borders. In other words, our  “ new worldorder ”  is increasingly shaped by alliances of government actors across coun-tries, who are working together to create and enforce international rules(Slaughter 2004). 2 Globalization and the Role of NSAs The end of the twentieth century has been marked by the increasing participa-tion of NSAs in the international politics. Previously, NSAs had been studied by sociologists who examined the impact of social movements on domestic politics.But it can be argued that whereas the  “ social movement scholars have been ‘ myopically domestic, ’  IR scholars have been equally myopically state-centric, ” so their areas of study have been very different (Khagram, Riker, and Sikkink 2002, 6). That is why previous research done by sociologists could contribute tothe study of NSAs in the field of IR, enrich and develop it.The impact of NSAs can be seen in all areas of international life.Multinational corporations (MNCs) regulate today  ’ s economy, transnationalcivil society movements promote and defend human rights, and private military firms transform the traditional structure of the armed forces. The military realmin particular has always been under strict state control ever after the creation of state-centric Westphalian order in 1648. Prior to globalization, states were con-stantly at threat from neighboring countries, so they had to accumulate theirsecurity forces. As Ayd ı nl ı  (2005, 99) puts it, the security domain has alwaysbeen one of the primary determinants of the traditional state-centric system.However, now the situation is radically different from the Westphalian times.According to Davis (2009, 241), the coercive force is no longer monopolized inthe hands of nation-states as in the Westphalian era. We are now living in theepoch of NSAs and their impact.Those NSAs that monopolize coercive force are referred to as VNSAs. Theirdistinguishing feature is that they tend to survive and go on with their activity despite the ongoing persecution by the state. However, this type of NSAs has notbeen accepted by the IR scholars until recently. For example, Risse-Kappen(2005, 8) identifies only two types of NSAs:  “ those motivated primarily by instrumental, mainly economic gains and those promoting principled ideas aswell as knowledge. ”  It can be argued that MNCs fit the first category, whilenational liberation movements and human rights organizations belong to thesecond one. As one can see, no place is left for those actors that pursue theirgoals or  “ principled ideas ”  through the use of violence. 4  T. Zhidkova Authenticated | tatianaz@bilkent.edu.tr author s copyDownload Date | 4/23/15 9:37 PM  Yet, nowadays it is impossible to deny that VNSAs pose a threat to globalsecurity. Terrorism and transnational organized crime are the most obviousexamples of these types of activity. As Ataman (2003, 58) notes, today terrorismis as globalized as the other NSAs. The 9/11 events came to be a turning point inthe attitude to terror for politicians, IR scholars and ordinary citizens all over theworld. These attacks have shown that transnational aspect of terrorist activity can no longer be ignored. According to Ataman (2003, 62), nowadays  “ nation-states, including the most powerful one, the United States, have to attach greatsignificance to non-state actors in order to maintain their interests. ” Thus transnationalization and the emergence of NSAs have had both posi-tive and negative effects on the international system. Positive effects includeddemocratization of the global information space, emergence of transnationalhuman rights movements, etc. However, negative effects such as the emergenceof terrorist and criminal networks should not also be underestimated. To sum itup, there is a general agreement among scholars that NSAs can have an impacton international politics (Barnett and Sikkink 2008, 72). 3 Globalization and the Concept of VNSAs VNSA is a very useful concept for the studies of globalization and transnation-alism because it can be used to describe many new actors in the internationalenvironment. Mulaj (2009, 3) defines VNSAs as  “ non-state armed groups thatresort to organized violence as a tool to achieve their goals. ”  Although VNSAshave become the topic of interest for the IR scholars only recently, they areactually not a new phenomenon in world politics. As Mulaj (2009, 1) puts it,some VNSAs had already threatened the West even prior to 9/11. One example of prior-9/11 cases of transnational violence is the late-nineteenth-century activity of the Anarchists who attempted to challenge the state in a state-dominant era(Ayd ı nl ı  2008, 921).In the literature there exist several classifications of VNSAs. For example,Mulaj (2009, 4) suggests that they should be divided into national liberationmovements (such as ETA, KLA), insurgent guerrilla groups (PLO, Hezbollah,Taliban), terrorist groups (Al Qaeda), militants made up of irregular armedforces (armed groups in Somalia) and mercenary militias (private military firms). Similarly, Troy, Kiser, and Casebeer (2005, 122) argue that VNSAs canbe divided in terms of their  “ functional continuities ”  into  “ warlords, TCO,militant religious movements, ethno-political groups, and ideological or inter-est-based groups. ”  Classification of NSAs summarized by the author can be seenin Table 1. Globalization and the Emergence of Violent Non-state Actors  5 Authenticated | tatianaz@bilkent.edu.tr author s copyDownload Date | 4/23/15 9:37 PM


Jan 17, 2019
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