The militarised approach to drugs supply continues to predominate, despite a new emphasis on drugs, peace and development. This article argues that to reset the conversation towards violence reduction and new livelihoods, states must involve the borderlanders themselves, protecting and enabling them to build a new road to peace.
This article looks at the impact of the coca economy (considered a war economy) on women and argues that , policies pursuing a transition from war to peace, such as the ones that emerged from the 2016 Peace Agreement between the Colombian government and the FARC guerrilla, must incorporate a gender perspective in order to acknowledge the social progress that women can achieve in war scenarios.
This article develops the notion of a policy trilemma, showing the tensions and trade-offs between drugs, development and peacebuilding policy fields.
Ontological journeys: The lifeworld of opium across the Afghan-Iranian border in/out of the pharmacy
How can we conceive alternative policy models that embrace the empirical potentialities emerging from the lifeworld of drugs? The article reflects on this question, concluding that to reassess and to reinvent current policies on drugs, we need to think with a political ontology. Incidentally, the article also responds to the critique dismissing ontological inquiries as obstructing – or, at best, not informing – alternative drug policies.
Drawing on an ecological approach, this article traces how the political-economy of drug wars are locally materialised in relation to health. In particular, it traces the different ways the chemical glyphosate used in aerial fumigation of coca crops in Colombia is materialised.
The ‘narco-frontier’ is frequently invoked in policy and popular narratives about drugs and armed conflict as unruly and marginal. This paper asks why has this been the case. What ideological work does the imaginary perform and for whom? And what are the implications of an alternative imaginary of the margins?
This policy brief presents the ‘Drugs-development-peacebuilding’ policy trilemma as a useful framework and tool for highlighting tensions and trade-offs between these three policy fields.
This article surveys the main strategies to address war economies in peace processes for countries emerging from war and discusses trade-offs associated with each.
This paper assesses the life stories of drug lords, the Castaño brothers of Colombia and Roberto Suárez Gomez of Bolivia.
The paper argues that if the current agenda to developmentalise drug policy is to make a meaningful contribution to the lives of the rural poor in drug-producing regions in Myanmar and beyond, it must confront the fact that for many households the decision to cultivate opium has been a response to the very processes of market-led rural development that policymakers claim will alleviate poverty.
An overview of counter-narcotic laws, policies and programmes in Afghanistan since 2001 and what it means for policy engagement today.
This paper seeks to explain the process of fragmentation of the international drug control system and suggests a new analytical framework for discussing trends and outcomes within the drug control system and its interaction with other areas of global governance.
This global stakeholder analysis examines the recent changes in international drug policy and the implications of these changes for shifting alignments and coalitions of stakeholders.
This policy brief shares insights from seven conflict- and drug-affected borderlands in Afghanistan, Colombia and Myanmar, and reflects on their implications for those supporting peace processes, poverty alleviation and development in fragile contexts affected by drugs.
This paper challenges the ‘rebels-turned-narcos’ premise by showing why involvement in the illicit drug economy, on its own, is insufficient evidence to posit the depoliticisation of an insurgent group.