On 1st February, this paper was published which seeks to provide an original approach to WMD-related illicit trade by drawing on criminology and focusing on the transactional level.  Specifically, the article discusses the “rational-choice” model as a way to understand an entity’s involvement in illicit trade, and considers also the limitations of this approach, as well as the role that opportunity plays in an actor’s decision to engage in illicit trade.  Worryingly (but not unexpectedly – see Dr Brewer’s recent piece on proliferation financing that makes the same point), the article draws the conclusion that the prospects of deterring illicit trade using export controls and related criminal sanctions are limited; and that the prospects of deterring illicit WMD trade are limited by the low levels of certainty in export-control enforcement (i.e. it won’t get checked and/or you won’t get caught).  Another conclusion is that non-proliferation successes are more likely to be found in further efforts to develop tools to address proliferation opportunities.  If you have $157 to spare (or $42.50 for 24 hours’ access), well worth getting, I think.


Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

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