SOAS University of London

Department of Development Studies

Drugs, (dis)order and agrarian change: The political economy of drugs and its relevance to international drug policy

Drugs and Agrarian Change - Poppy

Date: 12 May 2014Time: 9:00 AM

Finishes: 13 May 2014Time: 2:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

Type of Event: Workshop

Monday, 12 May 2014 
9:00 – 9:30 Arrival and coffee
9:30 – 10:30
Introductory Session: Political economy perspectives – challenging orthodoxies

Welcome and introduction to the goals, working hypothesises and structure of the workshop. Introductory inputs which map out the research agenda on the political economy of drugs, (dis)order and agrarian change.

10:30 – 11:00 Coffee break
11:00 – 12:30
Case Studies: Understanding Production I

Presentation of case studies of the drivers and dynamics of drugs production followed by plenary discussion.

12:30 – 13:30 Lunch
13:30 – 15:00
Case studies: Understanding Production II
15:00 – 15:30 Coffee
15:30 – 17:30
Thematic Session 1: Drugs and agrarian change

The session seeks to examine the implications of narcotics production for rural livelihoods, participation in labour markets (including the implications of shifts out of drug production for rural wage employment and welfare), characteristics of labour relations, interlocking of markets (labour, credit, land), patterns of migration, rural inequality and capital accumulation (including its spatial dynamics and the ways in which capital is accumulated through the illicit drug economy and by whom; and the impact on systems of land ownership and processes of territorialisation).


Public Event: The political economy of drug production and violent conflict – alternative frameworks and approaches

B102, Brunei Gallery

Tuesday, 13 May 2014 
9:30 – 11:00
Thematic Session 2: Drugs, political (dis)order and state formation

The session explores the role that illicit drug economies play in trajectories of state formation – access to the means of coercion, the creation of state territory and the establishment of tax regimes, and the state’s relationship to sites and trajectories of capital accumulation through narcotics production and trade.

11:00 – 11:30 Coffee
11:30 – 13:00
Concluding Session: The way ahead: implications for theory and policy

This final session explores the major findings of the workshop, with a view to assessing the value that a historical political economy approach can offer to theoretical, empirical and policy approaches to drugs and possible follow up activities.

13:00 – 14:00 Lunch
List of participants


By Invitation Only

Organiser: Department of Development Studies

Contact email:

Contact Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4892

Sponsor: NOREF and Christian Aid