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19 July 2007

Transnational issues and the lesser known accounts

We have been remiss in not pointing out the excellent overview of a number of accounts that are certainly off the beaten track in the analytical world that Coming Anarchy has chosen to grace its audiences with in recent days. One post that particularly caught our eye regarding the unique nature of evolving high intensity crime in the Oceanic region.

While similar issues have been increasingly of concern in Africa and Latin America, we have rarely seen such cogent thinking applied to the wider range of the “lesser included”. It serves to spur interesting thought, particularly for those of us concerned deeply with transnational issues and indications & warning.

The community has grown too accustomed in recent years, we think, to focusing on the great first order catastrophic events. The more subtle outlines of higher order effects from the less dramatic, and certainly less tangible, aggregation of actors and their smaller incidents have not only fallen out of vogue but also out of common examination. But it is precisely the subtle corruption of small state systems, overwhelmed by high intensity crime and low intensity conflicts, that will have reverberations throughout the global system. The hollowing out of states by distributed network actors is not merely a matter for concern in the places where there is the obvious stuff of the industrial age (such as the extractive industries), but also the influences of Herds and the other raw materials which are mined by the new economies.

Coming Anarchy’s piece is the kind of thing which brings us up short, and while we cannot abandon first tier priorities in favour of these faint glimmers of futurity, we can pause to contemplate their effects on our own accounts. And hopefully, the community as a whole can begin to institutionalize methods by which outsiders in the academic and corporate world can contribute meaningfully as part of a unclassified exchange in a formalized and ongoing manner.

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