Congo-Paris: Transnational Traders on the Margins of the Law (BOK)
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This study of transnational trade between Central Africa and Europe focuses on the lives of individual traders from Kinshasa and Brazzaville who operate across national frontiers and often outside state laws. Excluded from other social and economic opportunities, participation by traders in this international second economy challenges and resists the constraints on their lives in both Africa and Europe. Their trading activities are unmeasured, unrecorded, often outside or on the margins of the law, and are sustained by complex networks through which their commodities are circulated. Who are these traders? What strategies do they have, not only to survive but to shine? What kind of networks do they rely on? And what implications does their trade have for globalization? The authors consider these and other questions in this study.