Along-side global political economy–a rhizome of informal finance

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8 Citations (Scopus)


One contemporary issue confronting global finance is the nature and extent of its participation in and contribution to a global war on terror. To date, efforts have involved a variety of methods, including both an increase in the surveillance of financial transactions and the regulation of previously unregulated methods of financial exchange. This paper offers a conceptualisation of one informal value transfer method (known by its Arabic name — hawala) in the form of a rhizome, using the concept as developed by Deleuze and Guattari in A Thousand Plateaus. This paper argues that the ability of hawala to regenerate itself along multiple pathssituates the procedure as a rhizome, and that standard methods for inancial
regulation fail to appreciate the crucial difference this regenerative ability makes for attempts at control and regulation. Consequently, the activity that the state is seeking to control will merely be displaced, to reform and regenerate itself yet again. To ground this argument in the present condition of the global political economy, the specific example considered is Al Barakaat, a transnational Somali firm that fell victim to the global war on terror in late 2001.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429 - 451
JournalJournal of International Relations and Development
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Deleuze and Guattari
  • hawala
  • remittances
  • rhizome
  • terrorist finance


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