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Title: Illicit markets in the global city : the cultural property trade in Hong Kong
Author: Smith, Emiline Claudia Heleen
ISNI:       0000 0004 7655 4448
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis explores how the global city functions as a space for illicit trade, taking the illicit cultural property trade in Hong Kong as example. Hong Kong acts as a transition portal for the illicit cultural property trade due to its unique legal status and cultural history, creating a socio-political space of liminality within which the informal economy can grow and be sustained. Through in-depth engagement with 'insiders' of the illicit marketplace, the meanings and motivations for participation are examined on a micro-level, situated within the broader transnational cultural property trade. A key concern of this research was to excavate the local cultural and historical context in which this illicit trade is embedded and the ways in which transnational processes are experienced at a local level, as illustrated by the perspectives and narratives of participants. In this way, this research sought to advance knowledge of the intersections of legality and illegality, of formality and informality, and how the people and processes operating within these intersections facilitate and fuel illicit trade. It does this through a grounded, critical analysis of Hong Kong as a transition portal in the illicit cultural property trade, situating this role in a local and global context. The thesis therefore contributes to the growing body of research on the practicalities of transnational illicit trade. In sum, the thesis calls for a contextual understanding of a global illicit trade that is sensitive to the local, socio-cultural context of liminality and informality.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: H Social Sciences (General)