chapter  4
25 Pages

THE CLANDESTINE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF WAR AND PEACE IN BOSNIA

ByPETER ANDREAS

Virtually all contemporary wars, such as in the Balkans, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and West Africa, are intrastate wars.2 These wars tend to have a criminalized component: in various ways and to varying degrees they use smuggling networks and criminal actors to create and sustain the material basis for warfare. Although it is important to recognize that the political economy of all wars – large and small, old and new – have a clandestine side, it is particularly evident in intrastate conflicts that take place in a context of anemic state capacity, limited production, and reliance on external funding and supplies. Such conflicts are partly made possible by “taxing” and diverting humanitarian aid, diaspora remittances, illicit exports and clandestine trading across front lines, and blackmarket sale of looted goods.3 They may utilize quasi-private criminal combatants who operate in the absence of, alongside, and sometimes within formal military units, and who are especially prevalent when at least one side does not have a regular army and is not a full-fledged state.