Illicit markets, violence, warlords, and governance: West African cases

William Reno*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


It is commonly assumed that wartime leaders of illicit commercial networks engage in exploitative behavior and lack popular support. Evidence from West Africa suggests otherwise. Some wartime leaders use their commercial activities in post-conflict situations to build political support among demobilized fighters. Wartime leaders may then use these relationships to launch successful electoral campaigns and to protect themselves from political marginalization or even prosecution for their wartime activities. These developments represent the emergence of new forms of governance outside the framework of imported notions of reform and state-building.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)313-322
Number of pages10
JournalCrime, Law and Social Change
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Law


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