Webs of Corruption

Trafficking and Terrorism in Central Asia

Mariya Y. Omelicheva and Lawrence P. Markowitz

Columbia University Press

Webs of Corruption

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Pub Date: May 2019

ISBN: 9780231188548

232 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $65.00£50.00

Pub Date: May 2019

ISBN: 9780231547918

232 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $64.99£50.00

Webs of Corruption

Trafficking and Terrorism in Central Asia

Mariya Y. Omelicheva and Lawrence P. Markowitz

Columbia University Press

Counterterrorism experts and policy makers have warned of the peril posed by the links between violent extremism and organized crime, especially the relationship between drug trafficking and terrorism funding. Yet Central Asia, the site of extensive opium trafficking, sees low levels of terrorist violence. Webs of Corruption is an innovative study demonstrating that terrorist and criminal activity intersect more narrowly than is widely believed—and that the state plays the pivotal role in shaping those interconnections.

Mariya Y. Omelicheva and Lawrence P. Markowitz analyze the linkages between the drug trade and terrorism financing in Central Asia, finding that state security services shape the nexus of trafficking and terrorism. While organized crime and terrorism do intersect in parts of the region, profit-driven criminal organizations and politically motivated violent groups come together based on the nature of state involvement. Governments in high-trafficking regions are drawn into illicit economies and forge relationships with a range of nonstate violent actors, such as insurgents, erstwhile regime opponents, and transnational groups. Omelicheva and Markowitz contend that these relationships can mitigate terrorism—by redirecting these actors toward other forms of violence. Offering a groundbreaking combination of quantitative, qualitative, and geographic information systems methods to map trafficking/terrorism connections on the ground, Webs of Corruption provides a meticulously researched, counterintuitive perspective on a potent regional security problem.
Omelicheva and Markowitz’s research on the “crime-terror nexus” is refreshing and innovative, challenging conclusions often drawn on it. By bringing the state—both institutions and personalities—into the analytical mix, Omelicheva and Markowitz not only offer an explanation for how these transnational phenomena exist in Central Asia but also a logical framework for how to assess them in other geographic sub-regions of the world. Without question, Central Asian studies specialists and experts on terrorism and narcotics trafficking will benefit from a close reading of this volume. Roger Kangas, Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies
A groundbreaking study of the drug trafficking-terrorism nexus, Webs of Corruption is applicable across the globe. A must-read for anyone studying the links among organized crime, state weakness, and political violence. Erica Marat, author of The Politics of Police Reform: Society Against the State in Post-Soviet Countries
Scholars and policy makers have long speculated on the nexus between drug trafficking and terrorism. In this ambitious and expertly conceptualized study, Omelicheva and Markowitz use a wealth of new data and cutting-edge social science tools to meticulously explore the various relationships that exist among these actors in Central Asia and provide an invaluable framework for understanding the different roles of state actors within these networks. This is an invaluable contribution to the academic literature and regional policy discussions. Alexander Cooley, Columbia University
List of Illustrations and Tables
Preface and Acknowledgments
Introduction
1. Theorizing the Trafficking-Terrorism Nexus
2. Mapping How Trafficking and Terrorism Intersect
3. Convergence and Coexistence: Divergent Paths of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan
4. Emerging Relationships Within the Nexus: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan
Conclusion
Appendix 1. Socioeconomic Predictors of the Trafficking-Terrorism Nexus
Appendix 2. The Impact of Drug Trafficking on Terrorism
Notes
Bibliography
Index

About the Author

Mariya Y. Omelicheva is professor of political science at the University of Kansas. She is the author of Counterterrorism Policies in Central Asia (2011) and Democracy in Central Asia: Competing Perspectives and Alternative Strategies (2015).

Lawrence P. Markowitz is professor of political science at Rowan University. He is the author of State Erosion: Unlootable Resources and Unruly Elites in Central Asia (2013).