Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)
International Studies (Arts and Sciences)
Date of Defense
First Committee Member
William C. Smith - Committee Member
Second Committee Member
Felipe Agüero - Committee Member
Third Committee Member
Juan Gabriel Tokatlian - Committee Member
Fourth Committee Member
Bruce Bagley - Mentor
The accelerated trend of globalization has transformed the traditional role of the state. According to James Mittelman and Robert Johnston, the state is engaged in a courtesan role, which consists in shifting from serving citizens to acting as tacit partners in market relations, including with globally organized criminal groups. Building on the concept of the courtesan role of the state, this study addresses: (a) the general question of direct and indirect connections of states with illicit transactions in the post-Cold War, with a special attention to arms trafficking; (b) the reaction of the United States, as the remaining unique superpower, to the behavior of states associated with global illicit transactions, especially when involving security-sensitive cases such as arms transfer; (c) the security implications of this particular feature of the global illicit economy, particularly how threats are defined in international politics in the post-Cold War unipolar world. Focusing on the Argentina venta de armas case of illicit arms transfer to the Balkans and Ecuador in the 1990s, the research explores (a) the structural conditions and the domestic roots of a state engaged in illegal transactions in the post-Cold War; (b) the superpower's reaction to policies involving illicit transactions; (c) the security consequences. Through these venues, the dissertation aims at refining the debate in IR Theory to provide a better understanding of the international security dynamics in the post-Cold War.
Courtesan Politics; International Security; Arms Trafficking; Illicit Economy
Derghoukassian, Khatchik, "Illicit Associations in the Global Political Economy: Courtesan Politics, Arms Trafficking and International Security" (2010). Open Access Dissertations. 467.