By Martin Elvins (auth.)
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Extra resources for Anti-Drugs Policies of the European Union: Transnational Decision-Making and the Politics of Expertise
The demise of British involvement was hastened, however, by the ministrations of what Nadelmann (1990) has termed ‘moral entrepreneurs’ whose success in winning official commitment to phase out British participation in the trade was ‘almost entirely a reflection of the triumph of moral (religious and humanitarian) impulses over political and economic interests’ (p. 24 The opposition to British involvement in the opium trade did not extend to calls for a global campaign to ban the drug, however; the impetus for this was to come from American nationals.
21 Virtually all states are now formally committed to the prohibition of substances that in some cases have deep traditions and cultural or religious associations in their societies, however. 22 For example, the introduction of formal controls on opium in England may be seen to reflect a profound mistrust of the strength and quality of culture in English society, a factor perhaps better explained in this case by class-based notions held by political elites fearful of the consequences of an opium-addled working class.
The analysis also seeks to understand the institutionalization of normative knowledge and how this may present a powerful barrier to alternative causal analysis and policy development. Empirical evidence spanning some thirty years of what has been a formative period in the development of a European ‘community’ of states is examined. First, the next chapter provides an essential contextual overview of the evolution of international drug prohibition. 3 The Evolution of International Drug Control Policy Throughout recorded history, human beings have shown a desire to alter their state of consciousness using whatever psychoactive substances their particular era has made available to them: from coffee to opium, and from alcohol to ‘ecstasy’.
Anti-Drugs Policies of the European Union: Transnational Decision-Making and the Politics of Expertise by Martin Elvins (auth.)