Tunisia has undergone radical changes in the past decade, and faces more in the years to come, if the EU has its way. As the first country to topple its dictator in early 2011, it set off a chain of revolutions across North Africa and West Asia that led to a political reconfiguration, the impacts of which are still playing out. While Tunisia is often seen as the ‘success’ story of the ‘Arab Spring’, the transition has actually been a lot more complex than that.
Allow countries and regions more space for policy reform using and stretching the margins of the conventions. Strengthen alliances of like-minded nations to support one another and effectively coordinate efforts at the UN level through informal consultations and strategy meetings. Any crack in the global prohibition regime would not plunge the world into chaos immediately. We should not press for a new global straitjacket but for a model that respects cultural differences. We have to open up the debate about the wisdom of the conventions as they stand.
The jury is still out on Free Pior and Informed Consent (FPIC). Will it ‘help’ or ‘hurt’ the cause of agrarian justice? The dilemmas and challenges of using FPIC are already surfacing and warrant closer attention – precisely because of what is at stake: what development, for whom and what purposes, how and where, and with what implications?
In 1976 the Netherlands adopted a formal written policy of non-enforcement for violations involving possession or sale of up to 30 g of cannabis. The ‘gateway theory’ has long been seen as an argument for being tough on cannabis, but interestingly, the Dutch saw that concept as a rationale for allowing retail outlets to sell small quantities. Rather than seeing an inexorable psychopharmacological link between marijuana and hard drugs, the Dutch hypothesized that the gateway mechanism reflected social and economic networks, so that separating the markets would keep cannabis users out of contact with hard-drug users and sellers.
A derailment of Doha Round of trade negotiations under the World Trade Organization (WTO) will not be a sufficient condition to formulate a strategy to contain climate change, but given the likely negative ecological consequences of a successful deal, it is a necessary condition.
The Mexico-EU FTA after seven years in force shows how the objectives that were announced during negotiations and that it purportedly promoted were nothing more than rhetoric in light of the evidence of economic and social impacts it has caused.
The seminar entitled “Modernising the global drug control system – Can Europe lead?” was organised in the European Parliament by the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC), and the Global Commission on Drug Policy, and co-hosted by the Member of European Parliament (MEP) Nikos Chrysogelos. The event aimed to present the recommendations of the Global Commission and discuss the role that the European Union (EU) could play in current drug policy reform debates taking place within Europe and around the world. The seminar also comes at a time when the EU is working on drafting a new Drug Strategy to replace the one that will expire at the end of 2012.
Behind the currency wars and the worsening global economic crisis lies a largely unquestioned free trade model that both contributed to the crisis and, without radical reform, is a major obstacle to overcoming it.
"A fascinating and lively account of how it is by strengthening democracy, involving workers and citizens we can transform our public services. It truly kicks privatisation into touch!" (Baroness Helena Kennedy)
Critics of the international drug control regime contend that supply-oriented policy interventions are not just ineffective, but they also produce unintended adverse consequences. Research suggests their claims have merit. Lasting local reductions in opium production are possible, albeit rare; but, unless global demand shrinks, production will shift elsewhere, with little or no effect on the aggregate supply of heroin and, potentially, at some expense to exiting and newly emerging suppliers.
The issue of decriminalizing illicit drugs is hotly debated, but is rarely subject to evidence-based analysis. This paper examines the case of Portugal, a nation that decriminalized the use and possession of all illicit drugs on 1 July 2001. Drawing upon independent evaluations and interviews conducted with 13 key stakeholders in 2007 and 2009, it critically analyses the criminal justice and health impacts against trends from neighbouring Spain and Italy. It concludes that contrary to predictions, the Portuguese decriminalization did not lead to major increases in drug use. Indeed, evidence indicates reductions in problematic use, drug-related harms and criminal justice overcrowding. The article discusses these developments in the context of drug law debates and criminological discussions on late modern governance.
The neoliberal FTAs pursued by the EU with Colombia and Peru threaten to exacerbate human rights abuses - which include killings of trade unionists, forced expropriations of indigenous people from land, and environmental destruction - for the sake of corporate profit.
Since the 1912 signing of the Hague Opium Convention—the agreement that formally established narcotics control within international law—the United States has established itself as the dominant actor in determining drug control policies around the world. A chief architect of the international drug control regime, Washington has done its best to ensure that all subsequent international conventions obligate countries to adapt their domestic legislation to criminalize virtually all acts related to the illicit market in controlled substances, with the important exception of drug consumption. The predominant focus on prohibition and criminalization has been exported to Latin America, where the vast majority of the cocaine and heroin consumed in the United States originates.
U.S. drug control officials have denounced Dutch drug policy as if it were the devil himself. One former U.S. Drug Czar said "you can't walk down the street in Amsterdam without tripping over junkies." In the Summer of 1998, however, one such denouncement turned into a small scandal. The first part of this chapter examines this incident as a window on the politics of drug policy. The second part offers a more general analysis of why U.S. drug control officials seem to be so threatened by the Dutch example.
Various points of interest emerged during the discussions around the negotiation and ratification of this Free Trade Agreement (FTA), and after three years of its provisional implementation, it is a good time to revisit these issues.
Reclaiming Public Water has been one of TNI's most successful publications, obviously meeting a need in many countries and many languages. The latest in the series, which includes Spanish, Bahasa Indonesian, Italian with more to come, is Chinese, in a translation undertaken by our friend in Hong Kong, Au Ly. This is my preface, which he has now also translated. The book will be mostly distributed in Hong Kong [where people are fighting against privatisation of the public water system] and Taiwan, but Au has hopes that through the internet, people in mainland China will also be able to access it.
The increasingly precarious nature of work and life poses a serious threat to democracy as it undermines our social fabric, atomizes individuals and seeks to personalize blame for economic insecurity. What potential is there for ‘the precariat’ to become a new kind of social movement with a collective vision to reimagine contemporary life?