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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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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 24 October 2021

Contested Illegality

Contested Illegality

Processing the Trade Prohibition of Rhino Horn

(p.177) 10 Contested Illegality
The Architecture of Illegal Markets

Annette Hübschle

Oxford University Press

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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