Transnational Traders on the Margins of the Law
Janet MacGaffey and Rémy Bazenguissa-Ganga
Globalization as practiced by Congolese traders who operate a thriving second economy linking Central Africa and Europe.
Congo-Paris investigates the transnational trade between Central Africa and Europe by focusing on the lives of individual traders from Kinshasa and Brazzaville who operate across national frontiers and often outside the law. Challenging the boundaries of traditional anthropology, Janet MacGaffey and Rémy Bazenguissa-Ganga follow complex international networks to examine the ways in which the African second economy has been extended transnationally and globally on the margins of the law. Who are these traders? What strategies do they have, not only to survive but to shine? What kinds of networks do they rely on? What implications does their trade have for the study of globalization? The personal networks of ethnicity, kinship, religion, and friendship constructed by the traders fashion a world of their own. From Johannesburg to Cairo and from Dakar to Nairobi as well as in Paris, the Congolese traders are renowned and envied. This lively book shows that it is not just the multinationals who benefit from jets and mobile phones.
Janet MacGaffey, Professor of Anthropology at Bucknell University, is author of Entrepreneurs and Parasites and coauthor of The Real Economy of Zaire.
Rémy Bazenguissa-Ganga teaches at the Centre d’Études Africaines, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris, and is author of Les Voies du politique au Congo: Essai de sociologie historique.
African Issues—Alex de Waal and Stephen Ellis, editors
Published in association with the International African Institute, London
Traders, Trade Networks, and Research Methods
Resisting Exclusion and Reacting to Disorder
Commodities, Commercialization, and the Structuring of Identity
Contesting Boundaries: The Defiant Search for Success
The Organization of the Trade: The Importance of Personal Ties
To Surve and Shine: Two Oppositional Cultures
Conclusion: The Wider Context