The Drug War in a Land Without Drugs: East Germany and the Socialist Embrace of International Narcotics Law

In: Journal of the History of International Law / Revue d'histoire du droit international
View More View Less
  • 1 University of Erfurt

Abstract

This article examines how the German Democratic Republic (GDR) engaged with the problem of international anti-narcotics law and how it came to embrace the global drug war. The international anti-narcotics system provided a means of signalling the GDR’s normalcy to the international community and allowed East Germany to highlight its absence of drug abuse at home as a demonstration of socialism’s superiority in comparison with the narcotics abuse crisis of the capitalist world. By the 1980s, however, the GDR’s support for the international prohibition of drug trafficking shifted from one of competition with the West to that of collaboration. Through cooperation between international experts from both East and West, GDR elites abandoned earlier concerns about state sovereignty to endorse the global harmonization of drug laws as part of the 1988 Vienna Narcotics Convention.

  • Albrecht, Hans-Jorg. ‘The International System of Drug Control: Developments and Trends’, in Drug War American Style: The Internationalization of Failed Policy and Its Alternatives, ed. Jurg Gerber (Hoboken: Taylor & Francis, 2014).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Barop, Helena. ‘Building the ‘Opium Evil’ Consensus. The International Opium Commission of Shanghai’. Journal of Modern European History 13 (2015), 1. 115137.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bentham, Mandy. The Politics of Drug Control (London: Macmillan, 1998).

  • Bewley-Taylor, David R. International Drug Control: Consensus Fractured (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012).

  • Bewley-Taylor, David R. United States and International Drug Control, 1909–1997 (London: Continuum, 2001).

  • Boister, Neil. ‘Waltzing on the Vienna Consensus on Drug Control? Tensions in the International System for the Control of Drugs’. Leiden Journal of International Law 29 (2016), 389409.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Booth, Martin. Opium: A History (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2013).

  • Boville, Belén. The Cocaine War in Context: Drugs and Politics (New York: Algora Publishing, 2004).

  • Briesen, Detlef. Drogenkonsum und Drogenpolitik in Deutschland und den USA: ein historischer Vergleich (Frankfurt am Main: Campus, 2005).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Buxton, Julia. The Historical Foundations of the Narcotic Drug Control Regime (Washington D.C.: World Bank Publications, 2008).

  • Buxton, Julia. The Political Economy of Narcotics (London: Zed Books, 2013).

  • Campos, Isaac. Home Grown: Marijuana and the Origins of Mexico’s War on Drugs (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2012).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Carstairs, Catherine. ‘The Stages of the International Drug Control System’. Drug and Alcohol Review 24(1) (2005).

  • Chepesiuk, Ron. The War on Drugs: An International Encyclopedia (Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 1999).

  • Collins, John, Regulations and Prohibitions, Anglo-American Relations and International Drug Control, 1939–1964 (Dissertation, London School of Economics, 2015).

  • Conroy, Mary Schaeffer. ‘Abuse of Drugs Other than Alcohol and Tobacco in the Soviet Union’. Soviet Studies 42(3) (1 July 1990), 447480.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cruz, Giovanni Molano. ‘A View from the South: The Global Creation of the War on Drugs’. Contexto Internacional 39(3) (2017), 633653.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Douglass, Joseph D. Red Cocaine: The Drugging of America and the West (New York: Edward Harle, 1999).

  • Fechner, Susanne. Flughafen Berlin-Schönefeld Drehscheibe des Drogenhandels Ost-West: Bedeutung und Rolle des Flughafens Berlin-Schönefeld im Zeitraum 1970 bis 1989 (Saarbrücken: AV Akademikerverlag, 2015).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Framke, Maria. ‘Internationalizing the Indian War on Opium: colonial policy, the nationalist movement and the League of Nations’, in A History of Alcohol and Drugs in Modern South Asia: Intoxicating Affairs, eds. Harald Fischer-Tiné and Jana Tschurenev (London: Routledge 2013), 155171

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Freiburg, Arnold. Kriminalität in der DDR: Zur Phänomenologie des abweichenden Verhaltens im sozialistischen deutschen Staat (Springer-Verlag, 2013).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Friman, H. Richard. NarcoDiplomacy: Exporting the U.S. War on Drugs (Cornell University Press, 1996).

  • Friman, H. Richard. ‘Germany and the Transformation of Cocaine, 1880–1920’, in Cocaine: Global Histories, ed. Paul Gootenberg (New York: Routledge, 2002).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Frydl, Kathleen. The Drug Wars in America, 1940–1973 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013).

  • Gehrig, Sebastian. ‘Cold War Identities: Citizenship, Constitutional Reform, and International Law between East and West Germany, 1967–1975’. Journal of Contemporary History 49(4) (2014), 794814.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gilman, Nils, Jesse Goldhammer, and Steven Weber. Deviant Globalization: Black Market Economy in the 21st Century (London: Continuum, 2011).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gingeras, Ryan. Heroin, Organized Crime, and the Making of Modern Turkey (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014).

  • Gray, William. Germany’s Cold War: The Global Campaign to Isolate East Germany, 1949–1969 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2003).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hoffmann, Annika. Drogenkonsum und -kontrolle: Zur Etablierung eines sozialen Problems im ersten Drittel des 20. Jahrhunderts (Wiesbaden: Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, 2011).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Holzer, Tilmann. Die Geburt der Drogenpolitik aus dem Geist der Rassenhygiene: deutsche Drogenpolitik von 1933 bis 1972 (Norderstedt: Books on Demand, 2007).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hong, Young-Sun. Cold War Germany, the Third World, and the Global Humanitarian Regime (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015).

  • Jojarth, Christine. Crime, War, and Global Trafficking: Designing International Cooperation (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Joyner, Christopher C. The United Nations and International Law (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997).

  • Kan, Paul Rexton. Drug Trafficking and International Security (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2016).

  • Kingsberg, Miriam. Moral Nation: Modern Japan and Narcotics in Global History (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2013).

  • Klöppel, Ulrike, and Matthias Hoheisel. ‘“Wunschverordnung” oder objektiver “Bevölkerungsbedarf”? Zur Wahrnehmung des Tranquilizer-Konsumenten in der DDR (1960–1970)’. NTM Zeitschrift für Geschichte der Wissenschaften, Technik und Medizin 21(3) (2013), 213244.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kramer, John M.Drug Abuse in Eastern Europe: An Emerging Issue of Public Policy’. Slavic Review 49(1) (1990), 1931.

  • Maguire, Peter, and Mike Ritter. Thai Stick: Surfers, Scammers, and the Untold Story of the Marijuana Trade (New York: Columbia University Press, 2013).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mark, James and Tobias Rupprecht, ‘The Socialist World in Global History: From Absentee to Victim to Co-producer’, in The Practice of Global History, eds. Emily Drewe and Matthias Middell (London: Bloomsbury, forthcoming 2019).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Marshall, Jonathan. ‘Cooking the Books: The Federal Bureau of Narcotics, the China Lobby and Cold War Propaganda, 1950–1962’. The Asia-Pacific Journal 11(37) (2013).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • McAllister, William B. Drug Diplomacy in the Twentieth Century: An International History (London: Routledge, 2004).

  • McCoy, Alfred W. The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade, Afghanistan, Southeast Asia, Central America, Colombia (Chicago: Lawrence Hill Books, 2003).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Miller, Brandon Gray. ‘The New Soviet “Narkoman”: Drugs and Youth in Post-Stalinist Russia’. Region 4(1) (2015), 4569.

  • Millington, Richard. ‘“Crime Has No Chance”: The Discourse of Everyday Criminality in the East German Press, 1961–1989’. Central European History 50(1) (2017), 5985.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Musto, David F. The American Disease: Origins of Narcotic Control (London: Yale University Press, 1973).

  • Naylor, R. T. Hot Money and the Politics of Debt (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s Press, 2004).

  • Piontek, Daniela, and Ludwig Kraus. ‘Trends in Alcohol-Related Mortality in East and West Germany, 1980–2014: Age, Period and Cohort Variations’. Addiction 113(5) (May 2018), 836844.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Richardson-Little, Ned. ‘Dictatorship and Dissent: Human Rights in East Germany in the 1970s’, in The Breakthrough: Human Rights in the 1970s, eds. Jan Eckel and Samuel Moyn (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Scala, Stephen J. Understanding the Class Enemy: Foreign Policy Expertise in East Germany (Dissertation: University of Maryland, 2009).

  • Scott, Peter Dale, and Jonathan Marshall. Cocaine Politics: Drugs, Armies, and the CIA in Central America (Berkeley: University of California Press, updated edn., 1998).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stephens, Robert P. Germans on Drugs: The Complications of Modernization in Hamburg (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2007).

  • Stewart, David, ‘Internationalizing the War on Drugs: The UN Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances’. Denver Journal of International Law & Policy 18 (1990), 387404.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Thomas, Chantal. ‘Disciplining Globalization: International Law, Illegal Trade, and the Case of Narcotics’. Michigan Journal of International Law 24(2) (2003), 549575.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Unger, Dieter. Alkoholismus in der DDR: die Geschichte des Umganges mit alkoholkranken Menschen in der ehemaligen DDR im Zeitraum 1949 bis 1989 (Halle: Projekte-Verlag Cornelius, 2011).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • United Nations Publications, Yearbook for Human Rights for 1953 (New York: United Nations, 1955).

  • Weinhauer, Klaus. ‘Drug Consumption in London and Western Berlin during the 1960s and 1970s: Local and Transnational Perspectives’. The Social History of Alcohol and Drugs 21(2) (2006), 187224.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Whitford, Andrew B., and Jeff Yates. Presidential Rhetoric and the Public Agenda: Constructing the War on Drugs (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Windle, James, ‘How the East Influenced Drug Prohibition’. The International History Review (August 2013).

  • Wriedt, Jan. Von den Anfängen der Drogengesetzgebung bis zum Betäubungsmittelgesetz vom 1.1.1972 (Frankfurt am Main: Lang, 2006).

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 467 274 24
Full Text Views 40 21 2
PDF Downloads 31 21 2