Dialogue of the Deaf: Scholars, Practitioners, and the Drug War in U.S. Foreign Relations

21 Pages Posted: 13 Sep 2013 Last revised: 8 Oct 2013

See all articles by Peter Andreas

Peter Andreas

Brown University - Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Date Written: September 12, 2013

Abstract

In this paper I offer some Washington-focused reflections on the scholarly-policy divide in the drug war debate, drawing from more than two decades of observing and occasionally participating in what often seems to be a dialogue of the deaf — or perhaps the problem is not lack of hearing but not liking what one hears. Academics, I argue, have little discernible influence on the Washington policy debate on international drug control except at the margins (in technical aspects of crop substitution schemes, and so on). To the extent that scholars are involved in the foreign policy drug war debate — and there are plenty of disciplinary factors inhibiting this — it is primarily as outside critics rather than as trusted advisors. So to the extent that they have a receptive audience, it is more in the broader public sphere than in the halls of Congress or in the drug war bureaucracy. Their policy influence is therefore more indirect and more difficult to measure, though this does not mean it is necessarily unimportant.

Keywords: drug war, U.S. foreign relations, policy

Suggested Citation

Andreas, Peter, Dialogue of the Deaf: Scholars, Practitioners, and the Drug War in U.S. Foreign Relations (September 12, 2013). Watson Institute for International Studies Research Paper No. 2013-02. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2324979 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2324979

Peter Andreas (Contact Author)

Brown University - Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs ( email )

111 Thayer Street
Box 1970
Providence, RI 02912-1970
United States

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