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Title: Creating constraints : the United States and international drug control 1945-1964
Author: Taylor, D. R. B.
Awarding Body: University College of Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 1995
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Despite the existence of a multiplicity of both national and international drug control agencies, the production, trafficking and use of controlled drugs continues worldwide. As a reaction, many nations are making moves to re-evaluate domestic drugs control legislation, and institute alternative approaches to the issue of drug use. However, an obstacle exists that restricts this process. This barrier is the United Nations. The organization is not only responsible for the creation and implementation of prohibitive international legislation; it also helps sustain an axiomatic image of prohibition as the recognized standard of governmental behaviour. The perpetuation of this international norm encourages adherence to its policies. This thesis argues that the roots of such a situation are attributable to the exceptional efforts of the US; particularly the enormous influence that the nation has had upon the operation of the UN drug control apparatus and, therefore, the drafting of UN conventions. It is argued that between 1945-1965 the US exploited its position of dominance within the organization to promote ideals concerning the prohibition of certain drugs for anything other than medical and scientific purposes. Despite often subordinating international drug control to Cold War foreign policy concerns during this period, US prominence within the organization has ensured that prohibitive ideology remains the dominant theme of UN sanctioned international law. The thesis concludes that the ability of sovereign nations to develop domestic drug control policies that are in line with each country's specific socio-cultural needs is impeded. Such restrictive conditions mean that it is less likely that effective national drug legislation will ever be implemented. The consequences are liable to be costly in financial and social terms, both nationally and internationally.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available