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What is "Illicit?": A Response to Carol Jean Gallo, "The Informal Economy and Resource Exploitation in the Democratic Republic of Congo"

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Carol Jean Gallo's research on conceptualizing the nature of the Democratic Republic of Congo's (DRC) informal economies is an important contribution to the literature on the DRC and illicit economies worldwide. In this response, I situate Gallo's article within the policy debate about ending the trade in conflict minerals in eastern Congo. I argue that her work in part explains the disastrous unintended consequences of section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill for Congolese mining communities. In particular it raises questions about the nature of legality and corruption in the fragile state context. I conclude by recommending that she strengthen her argument through deeper engagement with the conflict minerals literature and by offering specific policy prescriptions on how to build the rule of law in a state in which almost no one has experienced anything but highly personalized and ineffective governance.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-05-01

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  • The St Antony's International Review (STAIR) is the only peer-reviewed journal of international affairs at the University of Oxford. Set up by graduate students of St Antony's College in 2005, the Review has carved out a distinctive niche as a cross-disciplinary outlet for research on the most pressing contemporary global issues, providing a forum in which emerging scholars can publish their work alongside established academics and policymakers. Past contributors include Robert O. Keohane, James N. Rosenau, and Alfred Stepan.
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