Title
Relations and regulations in local gold trade networks in South Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo Relations and regulations in local gold trade networks in South Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo
Author
Faculty/Department
Institute of Development Policy and Management
Publication type
article
Publication
Abingdon ,
Subject
Sociology
Politics
Economics
Source (journal)
Journal of eastern African studies. - Abingdon
Volume/pages
5(2011) :3 , p. 427-446
ISSN
1753-1055
1753-1063
ISI
000299573300002
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
This article aims to contribute to a better understanding of the local gold trade in Eastern DRC, a sector in which most activities are not officially registered and take place outside the regulatory framework of the state. Starting with the research on informal economies and networks, we find that in the absence of strong public and market institutions, personal relations are valued higher than pure market exchange. This is also demonstrated in the study of the local gold trade network. On the basis of fieldwork and in-depth interviews with traders and diggers, we describe how and why relationships are built in this context, what their nature is (credit and debt) and how they are maintained, reinforced and regulated. In order to fully understand the functioning of the network we also have to frame it in its specific local and historical context. The close connection between context and network dynamics is epitomized in a number of structural characteristics, which shape and are given shape by the network dynamics. This connection, and the specific relations and regulations in the network, need to be recognized if we want to make sense of formalization, a topical issue in Eastern DRC.
E-info
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