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The Architecture of Illegal MarketsTowards an Economic Sociology of Illegality in the Economy$
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Jens Beckert and Matías Dewey

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198794974

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198794974.001.0001

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Contested Illegality

Contested Illegality

Processing the Trade Prohibition of Rhino Horn

Chapter:
(p.177) 10 Contested Illegality
Source:
The Architecture of Illegal Markets
Author(s):

Annette Hübschle

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198794974.003.0010

This chapter shows that the illegalization of an economic exchange is not a straightforward political decision with fixed goalposts, but a protracted process that may encounter unexpected hurdles along the way to effective implementation and enforcement. While political considerations informed the decision to ban trade in rhino horn initially, diffusion of the prohibition has been uneven and lacks social and cultural legitimacy among key actors along the supply chain. Moreover, some market actors justify their participation in illegal rhino horn markets based on the perceived illegitimacy of the rhino horn prohibition. The concept of “contested illegality” captures an important legitimization device of market participants who do not accept the trade ban.

Keywords:   illegal markets, illegalization, illegal wildlife trade, rhino poaching, contested illegality, interface between legality and illegality, sociology of markets

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