The Security Implications of the Illegal Wildlife Trade

Tanya Wyatt

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National security is a continuing topic of concern and part of that is the growing understanding of the connection to global crime. Often though only traditional national security issues, which are conceptualized around state sovereignty and military capability are addressed, and when exploring the criminal nexus only traditional or mainstream crimes, such as drug and weapons trafficking are analyzed. This article departs from this in two ways. First, it centers on the illegal wildlife trade, which consists of both animals and plants, and is an often overlooked green crime outside of mainstream criminological studies. Second, it argues that the illegal wildlife trade is not only a threat to national security, but also threatens other equally important non-traditional aspects of security. This article demonstrates that non-traditional security concerns and the marginalized crime of wildlife trafficking should be the focus of more research and government focus as it poses significant threats to environmental, human, economic, and national security.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-158
JournalThe Journal of Social Criminology
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013


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