International Drug Control: Consensus Fractured / Edition 1

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There remains substantial agreement among the international community on many aspects of the contemporary UN drug control regime. However, diverging views on the non-medical and non-scientific use of a range of controlled substances make drug policy an increasingly contested and transitionary field of multinational cooperation. Employing a fine-grained and interdisciplinary approach, this book provides the first integrated analysis of the sources, manifestations and sometimes paradoxical implications of this divergence. The author develops an original explanatory framework through which to understand better the dynamic and tense intersection between policy shifts at varying levels of governance and the regime's core prohibitive norm. Highlighting the centrality of the harm reduction approach and tolerant cannabis policies to an ongoing process of regime transformation, this book examines the efforts of those actors seeking to defend the existing international control framework and explores rationales and scenarios which may lead to the international community moving beyond it.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This book is the only detailed study of its kind that I know of - a fine-grained, nuanced evaluation of the contemporary politics of challenging and sustaining the global drug prohibition regime. For anyone wanting to know about international drug control politics, especially in terms of the role of the United Nations, this will be a 'must read'." - Peter Andreas, Brown University, and co-author, Policing the Globe: Criminalization and Crime Control in International Relations

"An outstanding contribution to scholarship on international drug control as well as international relations theory more broadly. A compelling and cogent analysis, this book merits a wide and attentive audience." - Julia Buxton, Joint Head, Peace Studies, University of Bradford

"This is a meticulously researched and intellectually sophisticated analysis of the international drug control regime, concentrating on the role of the United States. It is a landmark contribution to the field." - John Dumbrell, Professor of Government, Durham University

"Bewley-Taylor’s latest book is destined to become the go-to source for everybody striving for a deep understanding of the workings of the global drug prohibition regime and how it came about. The author manages to make the book accessible and entertaining while demonstrating empirical and theoretical rigor – a rare feat." - Christine Jojarth, Lecturer, Stanford University, and author of Crime, War and Global Trafficking

"An indispensable guide to the critics, crises, and defenders of global drug prohibition in the 21st century. The old is dying, the new cannot yet be born, so Bewley-Taylor brilliantly maps the purgatory of contemporary punitive prohibition. A learned, lucid, and ultimately hopeful work." - Harry G. Levine, Professor of Sociology, Queens College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York

"The widespread recognition that drug control policies are inadequate has long coexisted with an equally widespread reluctance to reform them. This book sheds needed light on the reasons behind this nefarious paradox. David R. Bewley-Taylor's dissection of a little-known UN Commission in Vienna brilliantly illustrates broader issues related to drugs and the clumsy attempts of governments to contain their production, distribution and consumption. Anyone interested in drug policy, or how the “international community” actually works when it meets to tackle a major global problem, should read this book." - Moisés Naím, Ph.D., Senior Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and author of Illicit: How Traffickers, Smugglers and Copycats are Hijacking the Global Economy

"At a time when an increasing number of governments and analysts are questioning the design of the international drug control system, David R. Bewley-Taylor has written a perceptive and elegant account of the frailties of the system. His account of the essentially farcical, decade-long effort to meet the goals of a 1998 United Nations General Assembly resolution to rid the world of cocaine and heroin is analytical, edifying and entertaining." - Peter Reuter, Professor of Public Policy and Criminology, the University of Maryland, and co-author of Drug War Heresies and of The World Heroin Market

"Bewley-Taylor provides a detailed overview of the international politics of drug control. In a descriptive narrative, he outlines the role of the UN in formulating international stances on the production, distribution, and consumption of both licit and illicit drugs, highlighting the state's ability to participate in the licit drug market frequently depends upon their compliance with UN policies on illicit drugs" -M.F.T. Malone, University of New Hampshire, CHOICE

“International Drug Control: Consensus Fractured is an interesting, and theoretically and empirically informed analysis, that contributes much to those interested in the academic analysis, but also in the actual advocacy of drug reform. The book will become a must read in this realm. Beyond drug policy, the book is also a great source for those interested in the analysis of international norms and regimes, and in understanding the inner workings of the UN system.” -Angelica Duran-Martinez, Brown University, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice Books

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781107641280
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 4/30/2012
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 350
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

David R. Bewley-Taylor is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Political and Cultural Studies at Swansea University. He is the author of The United States and International Drug Control, 1909–1997 (1999).

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction; 2. Soft defection and the domestic normalization of harm reduction; 3. Harm reduction at the UN: member state tension and systemic dissonance; 4. Cannabis, soft defection and regime weakening; 5. Defending the regime: the International Narcotics Control Board; 6. Beyond regime weakening? Lessons from the UNGASS decade.

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