This article critically interrogates the political effect of portraying drug-related organized crime in the Americas as a resilient market phenomenon. It works out how both drug demand and supply are constructed as immune to repressive policy interventions of the War on Drugs. Drug demand is seen as a pathologic consumer habit which is inelastic to price changes brought about by interdiction. Drug supply, in turn, cannot be permanently suppressed as the ‘balloon effect’ ensures that trafficking routes merely shift from one country to another. In this discursive framework, policy making is consigned to perpetual adaption rather than purposive social transformation. In consequence, the political horizon of international policy making is limited to living with danger. This discursive move is facilitated by the resilience approach which consigns human communities to coping with threats and upheavals they can no longer have any hope of overcoming.
Bibliographical noteThe final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12117-022-09454-1
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- Drug economy
- Latin America
- Organized crime
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