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Hegemony and Global Capitalism : Us Drug Control Policies in Latin America (Hardcover) (William
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Beginning in the mid-1980s and continuing to the present day different U.S. administrations began to promote a highly militarized and prohibitionist drug control approach in Latin America. The escalation of a decades-long prohibitionist strategy largely failed to address central "drug war" objectives and have been fundamental to increasing levels of homicide, displacement and violence throughout the hemisphere. Foreign policy analysts examining the "US drug war" have generally focused upon the perceived national security interests of the US state, the intermestic nature of domestic politics, and/or the economic interests of an imperial United States in explaining U.S. drug foreign policies since the 1980s.
However, these approaches are unable to adequately address a number of puzzles related to this policy history, including why did this militarization of U.S. drug war policies in Latin America take place in the mid-1980s and why has this approach continued despite its inability to achieve the government’s stated targets? Are these policies simply a reflection of U.S. power being imposed on weaker governments or have elites in Latin America internalized this agenda as their own? Why did resistance emerge among some Latin American governments in the mid-2000s and does this resistance represent a genuine challenge to the militaristic, prohibitionist agenda of the U.S.?
The central aim of this book is to address these questions and explain this militarized shift in the 1980s, and its continuity, through an examination of the nexus between the U.S. state and transnational corporations and the related establishment of a neoliberal, globalized social structure of accumulation. Capitalist globalization has involved the growth in the economic power and size of transnational corporations, the expansion of free trade and foreign direct investment and the decentralized nature of capitalist production on a world wide scale. It is this social and structural context that has framed and centrally contributed to the emergence and continuity of an array of militaristic, foreign drug control policies throughout the region.