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Synopsis

After cold war, new patterns of conflicts emerged, most of them regional or intra - state conflicts (Stohl 2005). In these conflicts small arms were the dominant weapons, often purchased and supplied in an international black market, one that traffics 250 - 300 Millions illegal small arms (Jane´s Terrorism & Security Monitor 2006). To fulfil the pretensions of this enormous market, trans-national crime organizations established highly sophisticated purposive networks throughout the globe that became rather successful, being able to 'exploit international channels, systems and infrastructure where they already exist and are equally quick to create new ones' (Stohl 2004, p. 21).
Globalization, considered as 'processes through which sovereign national states are crisscrossed and undermined by trans-national actors' (Beck 2000, p. 101) has had a tremendous effect on the illicit markets and in special on the illicit small arms trade. In the following this paper will argue, that by creation of international networks in order to exploit international sources and new emerging markets, illicit small arms trade became a global business in the last decades (Stohl 2004, p. 21). It will also analyze how globalization processes contributed to this development by opening up new perspectives for international acting crime groups. A focus will be laid on major sources for illicit arms and the analysis of major causes for the global expansion of illicit trade in small arms during the last 20 years.

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