'State' Versus 'Market' in the 'Golden Triangle': Drug Trafficking and State Policy
The IUP Journal of International Relations, Vol. VI, No. 1, January 2012, pp. 38-54
Posted: 15 Sep 2012
Date Written: September 14, 2012
Hardcore, data-based analysis and academic research regarding 'Illicit Drug' of Southeast Asia, emanating from the infamous 'Golden Triangle', always focus on the causes or the factors responsible for the generation of illicit drug in the Golden Triangle region, and the subsequent policies accepted by the neighboring or bordering countries to eradicate it. Rightly, it has also been argued that the penetration of the illicit drug is like a slow poison, which, if and when it spreads, will not only cause a massive structural upheaval of the human society, but also change the social demographic situation of the region at large. Conversely, this paper argues that since the advent of globalization, the agenda-based policies followed by the 'nation-state' are more market-centric and hence predetermined. Thus, in the words of Susan Strange, states are today more 'market-driven'. In this situation of a market-driven Lockean state system, the sustenance of the flow of illicit drugs is in itself a determinant of the survival of some states. Therefore, 'eradication' policy, as per the direction of the UN and other international players, will neither be successful nor will it be allowed to succeed. This brings in the structural power of the market as the live idea of 'illicit drug' and 'combat methodology', and the subsequent financial inflow from the assisting countries serves both the host and the donor. They are part of the problem as well as the solution.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation