Sasha Breger Bush and
Review of Social Economy, 2020, vol. 78, issue 4, 479-506
Discussions of drugs in international political economy tend to focus on the relative advantages and disadvantages of particular regulatory regimes and governmental policy approaches. While the particular regulation(s) and social context(s) differ, the drug literature is in this sense repetitive and neglectful of significant features of the global drug economy. Drawing on social economics, we argue that the neglect of broad and holistic, synthetic, integrative and comparative drug research in IPE stems in part from a research program in which the state is “essentialized”, resulting in drug research that is too narrowly cast. Borrowing from social economics, poststructuralist Marxism, and new materialism, we develop an anti-essentialist approach for thinking about the global drug economy in an effort to reveal aspects of global drug production, distribution and consumption, and the power relations entailed therein, that are currently obscured.
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