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3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  291 ratings  ·  28 reviews
A groundbreaking investigation of how illicit commerce is changing the world by transforming economies, reshaping politics, and capturing governments.In this fascinating and comprehensive examination of the underside of globalization, Moises Naím illuminates the struggle between traffickers and the hamstrung bureaucracies trying to control them. From illegal migrants to dr ...more
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Published October 10th 2006 by Anchor (first published January 1st 2005)
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The book is a little bit repetitive, but it makes sense in the context of the similar ways in which different goods and cargo, including people, are smuggled and trafficked around the world. It provides a good introduction to the many types of cargos which are trafficked, and more importantly how governments and legitimate businesses cooperate with illegal enterprises in order to boost the bottom line and make a profit. It provides a good introduction both into the world of smuggling and traffic ...more
A fascinating look at the global underground economy and how things like counterfeiting (of everything from DVDs to medicines to auto parts), drug trafficking, human trafficking, illegal immigration, arms smuggling, money laundering and terrorism are all interlinked, not only with each other, but with the legitimate global economy as well. The book is an easy and interesting read and very well researched. Not just for econ geeks and policy wonks, it's a good read for anyone who wants to understa ...more
A solid 3.5, bumped up to 4 because I haven't personally read a better intro to illicit trading book.

Illicit offers a good overview of the scope of illicit trading, the depth of criminal networks, and the barriers to governments fighting illicit trade. The author does a great job of outlining the types of illicit trade, the motivations of criminals that make up smuggling networks, the forces that encourage these criminal enterprises, and the impact of smuggling on the economy.

The author does a
Dean Hamilton
You probably didn't think, that time you downloaded an MP3 online or bought a bootleg DVD of the latest Hollywood release, that you were tied into one of the most dangerous and potentially destablizing political and economic forces on the planet...

Illicit by Moises Naim, takes a long, hard look at a new phenonoma in the international arena - the role of traffickers and trafficking networks in transforming politics, economics and borders. Naim, the Editor of Foreign Policy Magazine, has penned a
An eye-opening look at how organized crime groups have atomized into specialized fields like corporations. Almost every process and leg of a criminal enterprise can be outsourced to contractors and subcontractors of slave traffickers, organ "donors," and brand counterfeiters.

One observation that author didn't explore nearly enough (until his interview in Foreign Policy magazine) was that globalized organized crime, no matter what lawless frontier they operated in, they necessarily have to wash t
Wish Vivek
This book basically explains the adverse effects of the changes in economic policies at an all-encompassing global level during the '90s through references to liberalization & globalization and how the consequent aspects of this phenomenon have become intertwined with our daily lives and continue to influence everything around us even to this day.
Illicit gives an in coverage of current global illegal trade markets.

The author provides informative and well researched information of global illegal trade of all commodities, and how financial and commodity markets work and fluctuate in response to changing legal and social behaviours. He also details the limtiations of various governments to control illicit trade, and finishes with a frightening but realistic speculation of the future.

Fairly depressing outlook on these global issues. Although some of the statistics and stories were very fascinating.
Good stuff - a really good overview of globalization from the perspective of law enforcement. Naim shows surprising links between different kinds of criminal enterprises - bootlegging and terrorism, for example. He also shows ways in which criminal activity is becoming more and more embedded not only in the international economy, but in the structure of some states.
fascinating look at the global networks that have risen, trafficking in drugs, people, weapons, garbage, counterfeit goods, money, and legal goods as well.

a look at how interconnected our world has become, some of the ways that traffickers exploit that interconnectedness, and what we can do about it...

An eye opening account of the trade in arms, drugs, humans, ideas, body parts, animals and every other imaginable item of value behind the curtain of international markets. Illicit trade will always exist, the question is when the world will shift its long failed strategy of curbing supply, to reducing demand.
very interesting, but it repeats the same notions over and over, which is either a good way to ensure researchers get all the basic information no matter how limited their search and brief their reading. or, it is a good way to pad the book so it's a longer read and feels more substantial.
A very interesting book about the major illicit traffic of the world. Should be read. It is obvious that illicit traffic cannot be stopped, too much of the world economy depends on it. Moises Naim is from Venezuela working in the US. He writes English well. He is a great speaker.
This is a topic that interests me greatly, and the book was filled with tons of information. I felt that Naim's style was quite repetitive though, and it was easy to get lost/bored. I think the book would have been more effective if it had been about 1/3 as long.
Covers the same theme as the Coen Bros. movie "No Country for Old Men". Tens of millions of dollars for illegal drugs, gambling,etc. are moving to global cartels, who are amassing power. Global cartels are time bombs ticking.
Thomas Fackler
A pain to read, but worthwhile if you can handle grimacing a lot. I found myself thinking about the current global financial endo and wondering how what Naim covers in his book (published in '05) will be effected.
Alberto Duhau
Amazing book by the Editor in Chief of Foreign Policy (Venezuelan). Analyzes the links amongst all of the different trafficking networks across the globe and the prevalecence of this practice worldwide.
Good starter on the problem of the black market around the world, but in the end it's a lot like Foreign Policy -- just a start without a ton of substance behind it, making you wish there was more.
Isa K.
So far not impressed, more lecture than information. The details in books like McMafia and Red Mafiya (which cover the same topics despite the titles) made them much more compelling.
A well written book that illustrates just how small our world has become & how inter-related we all are. I found many of his examples shocking. Well worth reading.
Steven Raszewski
Scary book, highly recommended.
Amar Pai
Lacking in any real insight or detail. Like something you'd read in Time Magazine. Back cover blurb from Thomas Friedman says it all really.
Alejandro Hernández
A good starting point for understanding the worldwide illicit economy and its links with organized crime.
I didn't get very far in this. I might pick it up again, but I didn't feel like it's written very well
Polly Callahan
PBS or frontline special highlights some of the key ideas
Fascinating and worrysome...
Colin Gillette
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Jul 03, 2015
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Moisés Naím is an internationally-syndicated columnist and best-selling author of influential books. In 2011, he launched Efecto Naím, an innovative weekly television program highlighting surprising world trends with visually-striking videos, graphics and interviews with world leaders which is widely watched in Latin America today. Dr. Naím gained international recognition with the successful re-l ...more
More about Moisés Naím...
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“the spread of consumer technology has given the traffickers a boost and helped them keep the edge over their pursuers.” 0 likes
“the world market for cheap labor exceeds even the market for cheap sex.” 0 likes
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