Economics 2004

Global Arms Trade and Funding behind Terrorism Project (10-15 pp.)

Papers DUE: January 12, 2005

Presentations: January 12-14, 2005


The entire class will be working on understanding the nature of global arms’ trades and terrorism through a collaborative group of papers. The class will be divided into 4 groups each working on a different aspect of the larger issue and each group will write a paper and present to the class an oral presentation of their paper. The paper should be 10-15 pp.

As a group, you should decide how to divide up the responsibilities for the paper.  There should be at least one edit after the pieces have been assembled to ensure the paper flows as a thematic whole and does not seem disjointed (either assign an editor to do this process, or edit as a group).  You will be expected to cite at least two outside sources and reference them with complete citations according to MLA guidelines.  Each group will make a formal presentation to the class about their topic (you should plan to provide outlines of your talk for each class member). The oral presentations will be graded as part of the class participation grade and should be approximately 30 min. in length.  Feel free to be creative in your presentations: past presentations have included games, cartoons, “interviews” with notable personages.  Students should be prepared to ask and answer questions of their fellow students.  The audience (fellow students and instructor) should not only be informed by the work but persuaded by the argument.


The three topics for the paper are:

1)    The Arms Trade and its role in the Global economy.  This paper should give a detailed discussion of the arms sales from both the supply and demand prospective.  Who are the producers?  The consumers?  How much money is spent on it?  What does illicit trade in arms look like?  Who monitors it? 

2)     Tracking Terrorist Money.  This paper has the difficult task of trying to collect information on how funding for terrorism can or cannot be tracked. What can various governments do to track money for terrorism? The discussion should include a detailed description of the Islamic forms of banking and how that tradition impacts the flow of money today, specifically you must define hawala.  You should also include a discussion of charitable giving and how charities have clouded the issue of funding for terrorism.

3)    Funding for Terrorism.  What is the status of Al Qaeda and bin Laden today.  What do we know about Bin Laden’s money?  How is Al Qaeda financed?  What group was responsible for the Bali bombings?  Do we know how they receive funding?  How are the Chechens funded?  Can we see links to Iraq? This group must start to answer the question of whether there is a “terrorist organization” out there and whether it is linked by money.

4)     Effects of the Iraq war on terrorism and the proliferation of weapons.  Since the American invasion of Iraq what has happened to security in the region?  What is the state of the war?  How well-armed are the insurgents and how do they receive their supplies? How secure is the Middle East in terms of weapons’ trade?


A majority of the research for these projects can be found on the internet.  The class will be in the library, Tuesday, 12/14/04, to go over materials already identified for the project and to guide you in the material.  I consider myself one of your best resources; use me.