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Development questions have been central to international drug policy since the first tentative steps towards a global control regime over a century ago. The strategy that was devised to limit the cultivation of mind- and mood-altering plants imposed a disproportionate cost on cultivating territories in the global South. This burden intensified in the post-war period and as the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs and United States ‘war on drugs’ in the 1970s institutionalised ‘narcotics’ as a security issue and a law enforcement concern. Despite criminalisation and coercive state eradication efforts, illicit narcotic plant cultivation (opium poppy, coca) has persisted, reaching record highs after 2015. Recent decades have seen improved understanding of development deficits as the driver of sustained illicit cultivation. However, high-level efforts to promote inter-agency and thematic linkages between drug strategy and global development goals have seen the reinvention of orthodox approaches to both drug control and poverty reduction. Neither has a record of sustainable success or of raising concerns as to the counterproductive impacts of policy reproduction. In patching together new ideas within failing paradigms, alternative development is better understood as ‘policy bricolage’.

Open Access
In: Drug Policies and Development
Author:

Abstract

Development questions have been central to international drug policy since the first tentative steps towards a global control regime over a century ago. The strategy that was devised to limit the cultivation of mind- and mood-altering plants imposed a disproportionate cost on cultivating territories in the global South. This burden intensified in the post-war period and as the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs and United States ‘war on drugs’ in the 1970s institutionalised ‘narcotics’ as a security issue and a law enforcement concern. Despite criminalisation and coercive state eradication efforts, illicit narcotic plant cultivation (opium poppy, coca) has persisted, reaching record highs after 2015. Recent decades have seen improved understanding of development deficits as the driver of sustained illicit cultivation. However, high-level efforts to promote inter-agency and thematic linkages between drug strategy and global development goals have seen the reinvention of orthodox approaches to both drug control and poverty reduction. Neither has a record of sustainable success or of raising concerns as to the counterproductive impacts of policy reproduction. In patching together new ideas within failing paradigms, alternative development is better understood as ‘policy bricolage’.

Open Access
In: Drug Policies and Development
The 12th volume of International Development Policy explores the relationship between international drug policy and development goals, both current and within a historical perspective. Contributions address the drugs and development nexus from a range of critical viewpoints, highlighting gaps and contradictions, as well as exploring strategies and opportunities for enhanced linkages between drug control and development programming. Criminalisation and coercive law enforcement-based responses in international and national level drug control are shown to undermine peace, security and development objectives.

Contributors include: Kenza Afsahi, Damon Barrett, David Bewley-Taylor, Daniel Brombacher, Julia Buxton, Mary Chinery-Hesse, John Collins, Joanne Csete, Sarah David, Ann Fordham, Corina Giacomello, Martin Jelsma, Sylvia Kay, Diederik Lohman, David Mansfield, José Ramos-Horta, Tuesday Reitano, Andrew Scheibe, Shaun Shelly, Khalid Tinasti, and Anna Versfeld.
In: Drug Policies and Development

Abstract

This introductory chapter explains the rationale behind the 12th thematic volume of International Development Policy, which explores the tension between development and drug control goals, both current and historic. The volume of fifteen chapters draws on a broad spectrum of thematic issues to address the following key questions: Are prohibition and development mutually exclusive or complementary international agendas? How do the harms associated with drug policy enforcement undermine development prospects? The diverse group of authors highlight the corrosive effects of criminalisation and prohibition-based approaches on the livelihoods and fundamental rights of those who are vulnerable, including women, children, people who count on drug cultivation and trafficking to make a living, and people who use drugs. They also address the limitations and feasibility of development-focused interventions in drug control strategies within the context of the prohibition paradigm.

Open Access
In: Drug Policies and Development
In: Drug Policies and Development
In: Drug Policies and Development
In: Drug Policies and Development
In: Drug Policies and Development