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Narcotics and armed conflict: Interaction and implications
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of East European Studies. (Silk Road Studies Program)
2007 (English)In: Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, ISSN 1057-610X, E-ISSN 1521-0731, Vol. 30, no 3, 207-227 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The link between armed conflict and the production and trafficking of illicit drugs has been much noted in the popular literature, and recent research tentatively indicates a link between lootable resources, including narcotics, and conflict duration. Yet the specific dynamics of the linkage between narcotics and conflict remain poorly understood. Evolving theory on the link between organized crime and terrorism enhances and supplements the debate on economic incentives in civil war, proposing mechanisms whereby insurgent groups interact with narcotics production-a crime-rebellion nexus. Studies of nine major narcotics-producing areas indicates strong support for this nexus. Rather than generating or being generated by drug cultivation, armed conflict qualitatively and quantitatively transforms existing drug cultivation. Importantly, armed conflict is itself deeply affected by the narcotics industry, which tends to strengthen the capacity of insurgent movements while weakening that of the state. A momentous aspect of the crime-rebellion nexus is the effect that the drug industry tends to have on the motivational structures of insurgent groups: criminal involvement in some instances creates an economic function of war and vested interests in the continuation of armed conflict. This has substantial implications for strategies to resolve armed conflict involving the production and trafficking of illicit drugs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 30, no 3, 207-227 p.
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-145842DOI: 10.1080/10576100601148449ISI: 000244261400001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-145842DiVA: diva2:397024
Available from: 2011-02-11 Created: 2011-02-11 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved

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