An image of the LINKSCH project title, which is 'Grasping the chains in the link: Understanding the unintended consequences of international counter-narcotics measures for the EU'.

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Project Announcement

Welcome and Introduction

Day:
Thursday, 19th June 2014
When:
09:00 - 10:30
Speakers:
Dr Alex Marshall, Prof Julia Buxton

09:00 - 09:30

Welcome and Registration


09:30 - 09:45

Topic: Presentation of the LINKSCH Project

Speaker: Dr Alex Marshall (University of Glasgow, UK)


09:45 - 10:30

Topic: Keynote Address

Speaker: Prof Julia Buxton, (School of Public Policy, Central European University, Hungary)

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1st Panel - The Hashish Chain

Day:
Thursday, 19th June 2014
When:
10:30 - 12:00
Chair:
Dr Alex Marshall
Speakers:
Dr Pierre-Arnaud Chouvy, Dr Hans T. van der Veen, Dr Arantza Gomez Arana

Topic: Unintended Consequences of Drug Control Policies and the Moroccan Exception

Speaker: Dr Pierre-Arnaud Chouvy (CNRS, France)


Topic: Provisional title: An Entrapment Machine? 'La ruta del hashish', its commodity chain, and governance system

Speaker: Dr Hans T. van der Veen (Visible Hand Research, The Netherlands)

Van der Veen uses a Global Commodity Chain approach to analyze ‘la ruta del hashish’. He follows the commodity chain from Ketama in the Central Rif in Northern Morocco, across the Strait of Gibraltar to the coffee shops in Amsterdam – as an example - to understand how this commodity reaches its millions of consumers in even the most remote corners of the European Union. He looks at how prohibition produces transaction costs that translate into mark-ups and rents along the trafficking chain, as well as in criminal and law enforcement employment, and keeps an open eye for how actors in drug enforcement and societies struggle to mitigate its worst consequences.


Topic: Money laundering and Corruption in a Transit Country: Unintended Economic Consequences in Spain?

Speaker: Dr Arantza Gomez Arana (University of Glasgow, UK)

For several decades Spain has been a transit country of many types of drugs. Initially accused by her European neighbours of being the gate of entry for drugs into the continent, Spain is now considered to be a wall to prevent illegal commodities and human trafficking making their way into Europe. There are also other intrinsically national-contextual factors for the ease and prevalence of money laundering in Spain such as the economic dependency on the building sector, the practical difficulties when trying to identify and control the source of illegal money and the brutal impact of the current economic crisis. In 2010, Spain introduced new anti-money laundering measures to address these issues. This paper will draw attention to several unintended consequences of anti-drugs policies in relation to money laundering and corruption. In this context, this paper argues that current anti-drug policies are not fit for purpose and that these policies require substantial revision which comprehends the complexities of the global context rather than focussing solely on Spain as an isolated nation-state.

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2nd Panel - Chasing Demons or Creating Them? Unintended Consequences of Counter-Narcotics Policy in Latin America

Day:
Thursday, 19th June 2014
When:
13:30 - 15:00
Chair:
Dr Arantza Gomez Arana
Speakers:
Verena Brähler, Alan Gillies, Kari Mariska Pries, Thomas Ploetze

International counter-narcotics policies have long been a source of contention for origin and transit chain countries. The United States has advanced a “war on drugs” in Latin America, spending billions of dollars on counterdrug aid packages and actively engaging with target government security forces and policy officials. Over several decades, the impact of such international measures has been felt through myriad unintended consequences from the local community level to shifting dynamics of violence, crime and corruption throughout the region. Not surprisingly, it is in Latin America where we now witness a political movement that increasingly advocates for more effective, humanitarian, and pragmatic drug policies. The latest results are the Report of The Drug Problem in the Americas, which was presented by the Organization of American States in May 2012 and contains several scenarios for drug policy reform, the move towards legalization of the cannabis market in Uruguay, and the decision of Bolivia to withdraw temporarily from the United Nations' Single Convention on Drugs to change its national reservation on the traditional use of the coca leaf.

This panel will address how international anti-narcotic policies have (1) shaped experiences of security and violence in key countries throughout the region; and (2) influenced policy development and implementation perspectives from local communities to regional organizations. The role of the European Union, as a growing investor in crime prevention and security-building policies in Latin America, will be considered both in terms of potential and actual impacts of its current activities as well as with regards to policy recommendations for the future development of related projects and programmes


Topic: Oligopoly of Security Providers in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Speaker: Verena Brähler, (University College London, UK)

Brähler considers an “inequality of security” in Rio de Janeiro where security providers, from armed forces, police, UPPs, private security companies, drug trafficking factions and militias, organised in a complex network deploy violence in multiple forms for their economic and political ends.


Topic: Exerting Control in the 'War on Drugs': Implementing the Andean Initiative in Bolivia, 1989-93

Speaker: Allan Gillies, (University of Glasgow, UK)

Gillies utilises the case of the Andean Initiative in his investigation of the function of the drug war bureaucracy in Bolivia. His research analyses relations of power and control between the US and Bolivia, and the implications of this for policy.


Topic: National Sovereignties and Regional Coordination in the Face of Transnational Security Challenges in Central America

Speaker: Kari Mariska Pries, (University of Glasgow, UK)

Pries considers a decade of security policy results in the national context of El Salvador. As part of the Central American isthmus, the country has been at the forefront of international and American efforts to address transnational organised crime and gangs that, despite punitive counter-crime strategies, have survived and flourished. Weak political institutions, law enforcement capacities, and judicial systems along with social hardships are factors which present in baseline studies and have been considered in foreign initiatives but with few long-term reportable results. This paper assesses recent national policy efforts and makes some recommendations for new alternatives.


Topic: Shifting the Level of Counter-Narcotics-Strategies? Central American’ Regional Security Efforts

Speaker: Thomas Ploetze, (Centre for Area Studies, University of Leipzig, Germany)

Trafficking of arms, human beings, cars but especially of drugs is acknowledged to be one of the major activities of transnational organized crime. In the last decade the problem and intensity of drug-trafficking organizations has increasingly be located in one particular region of Latin America: Central America. Therein, the transnational phenomena coincides with a rising domestic “visibility” of insecurity, high crime and homicide rates inducing the realization of the ineffectiveness of national containment measures. In fact, Central America has witnessed various attempts to shift the level of Counter-Narcotics interaction towards the regional level in recent years indicating a different approach of encountering drug-trafficking in the region. The paper provides an analytical overview of the recent security initiatives by embedding those strategies historically, highlighting the involved actors, the main conflicts and providing recommendations of moving forward.

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3rd Panel - Russia and Afghanistan: The Heroin Supply Chain (I)

Day:
Friday, 20th June 2014
When:
09:30 - 11:00
Chair:
Dr Alex Marshall
Speakers:
Dr Jorrit Kamminga, Dr David Mansfield, Prof Jonathan Goodhand, Dr Alex Marshall

Topic: The Empty Shell of Shared Responsibility in Drug Control: A Case Study of Alternative Development in Colombia

Speaker: Dr Jorrit Kamminga (Universidad de Valencia, Spain)

Kamminga brings a wealth of narco-trafficking field research experience on Afghanistan and Colombia to his discussion on international support for alternative development and trade policies that aim to reduce the supply of illicit drugs. Based on field research in three different regions of Colombia, Tumaco, la Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and Meta, and on continuous field research and analysis in Afghanistan since 2005, his presentation will draw parallels between the international community's support role in both countries.


Topic: Turning Deserts into Flowers: Poppy bans and agrarian transformation in the desert lands of southern Afghanistan

Speaker: Dr David Mansfield

Over the last ten years there has been a significant increase in the settlement of former desert land in the southern provinces of Afghanistan, resulting in a rapid expansion in the amount of land under agriculture. Much of this land is cultivated with opium poppy - currently the only crop that can meet both the sunken and recurrent costs of production in this difficult terrain. Drawing on detailed fieldwork in the provinces of Farah, Helmand, Kandahar and Nimroz, as well as remote sensing imagery, Mansfield will examine what has driven both poppy and the population into these desert areas and what this relocation means for current counter narcotics efforts.


Topic: Drugs and hybrid political orders on the Afghan-Tajik borderland

Speaker: Prof Jonathan Goodhand (SOAS, University of London, UK)


Topic: Russia and the Global War on Drugs: the Unintended Consequences of Drug War Diplomacy

Speaker: Dr Alex Marshall (University of Glasgow, UK)

Since 2001 the perceived threat of Afghan heroin to Russian national security has placed combating the drug issue steadily higher and higher on the Russian state's own list of domestic security priorities. However the growing concerns expressed by Russia around potential liberalization of the global counter-narcotics regime on the run-up to the 2016 UNGAS summit also reflect both politically conservative domestic priorities and Russia's growing recognition of the utility of the drug war discourse as a means to extend its influence on the international stage.

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Download the Programme

Icon for a document in PDF format that is available to be downloadedPlease download a copy of our conference programme with full details of speakers and topics.

4th Panel - The International Legal Framework on Drug Control: A Suitable Legal Framework for the 21st Century?

Day:
Friday, 20th June 2014
When:
11:30 - 13:00
Chair:
Prof Robin Geiß
Speakers:
Prof David Bewley-Taylor, Daniel Wisehart

Topic:

Speaker: Prof David Bewley-Taylor, (University of Swansea, UK)


The international legal framework on drug control: A suitable legal framework for the 21st century?

Speaker: Daniel Wisehart, (University of Freiburg, Germany)

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5th Panel - Kazakhstan and Turkey: The Heroin Supply Chain (II)

Day:
Friday, 20th June 2014
When:
14:30 - 16:00
Chair:
Eva Kipnis
Speakers:
Eva Kipnis, Aurelie Broeckerhoff, Dr Lara Spiteri-Cornish, Chris Pullig, Dr Alex Marshall

Topic: De-valuing heroin: branding perspectives

Speakers: Eva Kipnis, Aurelie Broeckerhoff, Dr Lara Spiteri-Cornis (Coventry University, UK) and Chris Pullig (Baylor University, USA)

Understanding the drivers of illicit drugs’ price mark-ups and demand-supply relationships across the supply chain is one of the vital areas for researchers and practitioners engaged in counter-narcotic interventions. This paper provides a framework that applies brand value building theory to explicate how the value of heroin may be increased by manufacturers at the point of wholesale supply. By examining images of stamps and packaging of intercepted heroin from the perspective of brand building, the paper offers recommendations on how, by targeting heroin that appears to be more sophisticatedly promoted to wholesale buyers by using branding and marketing principles, the perception of its value by the buyers may be reduced.


Topic: Beyond the Northern Route: evaluating consequence of CN interventions in Kazakhstan

Speakers: Eva Kipnis, Aurelie Broeckerhoff and Dr Lara Spiteri-Cornish (Coventry University, UK)

Based on the fieldwork in Kazakhstan, this paper details the current illicit drugs context in Kazakhstan and offers a socio-psychological assessment of the effects of supply and demand reduction and harm reduction interventions implemented in the country. It provides an overview of the illicit drug market in Kazakhstan, considers current social trends of attitudes held by various segments of Kazakhstan population toward drug consumption and addiction, and examines the effects of local approaches to implementing internationally and nationally led counter-narcotic programmes on the effectiveness of these programmes. Among these, some key discussed trends include: a) the role of preventative communication in exacerbating negative perceptions of drug addiction and contributing to stigmatisation of drug users; b) the impact of local contextual specifics on approaches to and consequences of methadone replacement therapy; c) the role of increasing cultural symbolism of entry drugs in continuing uptake of drugs by younger population. In addition, the paper identifies a number of “intervention gaps” (i.e., non-existing or misaligned interventions) that may result in continuation and growth of coercion of the local population into drug smuggling, distribution and consumption. The paper argues that in addition to increasing focus on Kazakhstan as part of the Northern Route as part of “post-2014”, greater international effort and engagement with Kazakhstan local government and non-government organisations is required to provide expert support and training to ensure adequacy of interventions design and implementation.


Topic: Unintended Consequences of Drug Communication Strategies Targeting Vulnerable and Culturally Diverse Individuals

Speakers: Dr Lara Spiteri-Cornish, Eva Kipnis and Aurelie Broeckerhoff, (Coventry University, UK)

Unintended effects of communication strategies are under-theorized in the area of counter-narcotic interventions, particularly with respect to interventions targeting vulnerable and culturally-diverse populations. In this paper, the authors use critical visual analysis to examine a sample of communication material used in Kazakhstan and Afghanistan to deter either drug production or drug consumption. They discuss the theoretical underpinnings of the techniques used in these materials and explain how limited research into the response of vulnerable and culturally-diverse individuals to different communication strategies can result in negative unintended consequences. The authors demonstrate that the messages presented in the communication sample have strong negative connotations and are likely to instil feelings of guilt, shame, fear and hopelessness among the targeted populations. Such negative emotions are likely to be heightened when experienced by audiences who suffer varying levels of vulnerability and might also be responsible for exacerbating existent stigmatization of those involved in the consumption and/or production of drugs and their significant others.


Topic: Turkey, the War on Drugs, and the EU Accession Process Under the currently ruling AKP government

Speaker: Dr Alex Marshall (University of Glasgow, UK)

Turkey since 2002 has undergone considerable domestic reform as part of its movement towards meeting the conditionalities of the EU accession process. These reforms have included increased professionalization of the Turkish police and legal reforms, all of which have complemented TADOC, the Turkish International Academy against Drugs and Organized Crime inaugurated in 2000. This has led Turkey to play a forward role in coordinating the international fight against drug trafficking at the European level. This paper reviews Turkey's forward participatory role in Europe's securitization of the drugs issue and some of the domestic and international side-effects of this process.

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Discussion - United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Drugs (2016): The Future of Antidrug Policies

Day:
Friday, 20th June 2014
When:
16:00 - 17:30
Speakers:
Round table panel, Mr Patrick Penninckx

Topic: Round table discussion on the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Drugs (2016); The Future of Antidrug Policies?


Topic: Keynote Address

Speaker: Mr Patrick Penninckx, (Executive Secretary, Pompidou Group, Council of Europe)

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  • University of Glasgow logo for use in navigating to the university's homepage
  • Logo for CNRS, the French national research centre in Paris, for use in navigating to the research centre's French-language homepage
  • University of Coventry logo for use in navigating to the university's homepage
  • University of Coventry Business School logo for use in navigating to the school's homepage
  • University of Potsdam logo for use in navigating to the university's German-language homepage
  • Logo for SOAS, the School of African and Oriental Studies at the University of London, for use in navigating to the school's homepage
  • Logo for Visible Hand Research, for information only and not for use in navigating to the consultancy's homepage since no website is currently available

This project has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 285073.

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