Table of Contents

Handbook of Governance and Security

Handbook of Governance and Security

Elgar original reference

Edited by James Sperling

The Handbook of Governance and Security examines the conceptual evolution of security governance and the different manifestations of regional security governance. In particular, James Sperling brings together unique contributions from leading scholars to explore the role of institutions that have emerged as critical suppliers of security governance and the ever-widening set of security issues that can be viewed profitably through a governance lens.

Chapter 25: Financial Action Task Force

Yee-Kuang Heng and Kenneth McDonagh

Subjects: politics and public policy, international politics, international relations, regulation and governance, terrorism and security


The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) was established by the G7 Summit in Paris in 1989 to create global standards to tackle criminal money laundering, with a particular focus on the proceeds of the drug trade. It therefore began life as a security governance arrangement aimed squarely at what might be called ‘new’ security issues or the broadening security agenda of the post-Cold War era (Baldwin 1997; Rothschild 1995). Over the past decade or so its remit has expanded into more conventional security issues including terrorism, proliferation and piracy. However the focus has remained on creating and monitoring standards in the global financial system rather than more structured or formalised means of enforcement. Membership of the taskforce includes not just states but also regional bodies like the EU Commission and the Gulf Cooperation Council. It also relies on a network of FATF-style regional bodies (FSRBs) to disseminate and monitor its recommendations. It describes itself as a ‘policy-making body’ and rather than being established as permanent organization it operates on a renewable mandate of its member states, the latest renewal was announced in April 2012 and the mandate runs until 2020 (FATF 2012a: 10). This chapter begins with a discussion of the global financial regulatory regime from a security perspective and the role of FATF within that regime.

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