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Distributed for Reaktion Books

Drugs and the World

Drug trafficking and consumption are among the most pressing global issues of our time and the approaches to alleviating them are myriad and complex. With Drugs and the World,Axel Klein takes a remarkably broad approach to the issue, exploring the importance of psychoactive substances to our health and culture.

            To be properly understood, drugs should not be simply examined from a negative point of view, Klein argues. From their centrality in religious rituals to their part in the growth of trade among nation-states, Klein reveals the pivotal role that drugs have played in the advancement of human society. Klein then investigates the modern policies that define certain substances as drugs; the link between drugs, addiction, and crime; and the legal strategies and policies around the world that have largely failed to control global drug trafficking. The book also draws upon studies from the Caribbean, West Africa and Eastern Europe to propose solutions that could reinforce the eroded power of state institutions, law enforcement, and the democratic process in addressing drug trafficking.

A timely and in-depth analysis, Drugs and the World offers an expertly written examination that will be essential for all those concerned with the role of drugs in the modern world.

221 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 2008

Sociology: Criminology, Delinquency, Social Control

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“Awelcome addition to the growing literature on the use and misuse of psychoactive substances and the policies and interventions that make up the global war against drugs. . . Written in a clear and accessible style, the book challenges many of the misconceptions and stereotypes in our everyday thinking about the drugs problem and what is to be done about it . . . this book is a highly informative and valuable resource for all those interested in the use and control of drugs around the world today.”—Times Higher Education

Times Higher Education

Table of Contents


1        Taking Leave of Our Senses: Drug Use and Drug-taking in the 21st Century

2        The Pathology of Drug Use

3        Possible Benefits of Drug Use

4        How Drugs Have Shaped History in the Modern Era

5        Redefining the Issue: Symptom of Decadence or Development Problem?

6        International Drug Control: System and Structure

7        How Drugs Became a Development Issue

8        Drugs and Development Along the Silk Route

9        Positives and Negatives of the Drug Economy

10    The Khat Economy

11    Drugs and the Management of Pleasure


Selected Bibliography


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