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Coca

Territorial control and the scope and resilience of cannabis and other illegal drug crop cultivation

Pierre-Arnaud Chouvy / 2019 / EchoGéo.

As revealed by the examples of Morocco, northeast India, Afghanistan, Burma/Myanmar, and the United States of America, degrees of politico-territorial control or law-enforcement deficit by the state can explain, to some extent, the existence of large expanses of illegal drug cultivation. Causes of politico-territorial control deficit are many and non-exclusive. They include armed conflicts, corruption, loosely integrated territories, and lack of financial, human and material means of asserting state control. Large-scale illegal drug crop cultivation can take place according to three main scenarios: that of a full-fledged but inefficient war on drugs; that of toleration, for various motives, of illegal drug plant cultivation by the state (which can amount to negotiated but effective control); and that of the militarily-challenged state that cannot exert full control over its territory. The fact that total politico-territorial control by the state, no matter how powerful and resourceful, is deemed impossible, shows that the war on drugs is doomed to fail despite how many battles were won. Eventually, the very limits of the state’s politico-territorial control, when applied to counter-narcotics and law enforcement, implicitly question the illegality of a practice that is considered legitimate by many.

La guerre contre la drogue : bilan d’un échec

Pierre-Arnaud Chouvy / 2015 / La Vie des idées.

Lancée il y a plus d’un siècle, la guerre contre la drogue s’est soldée par un échec retentissant, multipliant les trafics, renforçant la production et la consommation tout en réprimant les paysans producteurs et les consommateurs. Il est temps de donner les moyens à un développement alternatif cohérent.

A Typology of the Unintended Consequences of Drug Crop Reduction

Piere-Arnaud Chouvy / 2013 /
Journal of Drug Issues.

Drug control policies and interventions, like any other policies and interventions, generate many unintended consequences. Most often, such consequences are mentioned without being defined or presented in a typology, and they are rarely explained in terms of causality. This article will stress how the existing work on the unintended consequences of drug control policies and interventions suffers from little or no definition and will then provide such a definition and a typology applied to three major interventions meant to achieve drug crop reduction—forced eradication, alternative development, and opium bans. In the end, it will explain how a typology of unintended consequences can help to better understand the failure and even the counterproductivity of some interventions. Differentiating between direct and collateral unintended consequences allows us to better attribute the occurring of unintended consequences to a specific intervention and/or to the intended consequence of the interventions.

Agricultural Drug Economies: Cause or Alternative to Intra-State Conflicts?

Pierre-Arnaud Chouvy / 2007 / Crime, Law and Social Change.

Through case studies selected among the world’s main drug-producer countries and regions (Afghanistan, Bolivia, Burma, Colombia, Morocco, Peru, and West Africa) this paper depicts the global scene in order to improve understanding of how agricultural illicit drug economies may foster the emergence of intra-state conflicts, help prolong intra-state conflicts or, conversely, prevent some crises. The paper thereby examines the complex connections between agricultural illicit drug production and intra-state conflict in the all-important context of underdevelopment and globalisation.

Drug Trafficking

Pierre-Arnaud Chouvy / 2007 / The Encyclopedia of the Cold War.

The Cold War played a direct and prominent role in the production and trafficking of illicit drugs. Indeed, the financing of many anti-Communist covert operations, such as those led by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), resorted to the drug economy of various proxy states in which drug trafficking was often condoned and even encouraged. Specific historical cases illustrate how the anti-Communist agenda of the CIA played a decisive role in spurring the global illicit drug trade. These include the French Connection and the role of the Corsican mafia against Communists both in France and in Southeast Asia (Laos and Vietnam), the propping up of the defeated Chinese Nationalist Party (Guomindang) in northern Burma, the Islamic Mujahideen resistance in Afghanistan, and the Contras in Nicaragua.

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