Collusion or Collision? The War on Drugs in the Philippines

Why is there continued public support for the anti-drug war despite its failures, particularly from among those who are often victimized by violence?

Read the journal article “Collusion or Collision? The War on Drugs in the Philippines” by International Alert Senior Peace and Conflict Adviser Francisco Lara Jr. and Philippines Country Manager Nikki Philline C. de la Rosa published on the special issue of the La Revista Estudios Socio-Juridicos (The Socio-Legal Studies Journal), Universidad del Rosario in Colombia. The article takes on an economic sociology approach to the illegal drugs problem and trains the spotlight on the threats to embedded social networks posed by this deadly enterprise. Using quantitative and qualitative evidence and case studies from Metro Manila, the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), specifically Marawi City in Lanao del Sur, and Datu Saudi Ampatuan in Maguindanao, the study shows how collusion and collision are alternate realities and means of adapting to an illicit enterprise bound to many social and economic arrangements, including those brought by violent extremism. Conflict Alert’s eight-year panel data on drug-related violent incidents in the BARMM provided some of the quantitative basis for analysis.

The Socio-Legal Studies Journal is an academic and peer-reviewed publication in a “double blind” process, which presents semi-annually, the results of research in areas such as legal theory, legal sociology, legal anthropology and the traditional areas of the legal field (public law , private law, criminal law, human rights, international law) from interdisciplinary perspectives. The latest special issue on illicit economies and mobilization focused on understanding the forgotten world of production – of the producing countries and countries that are part of that path between production and consumption – and the consumption of illicit drugs itself. The various researches featured in the publication tackled: 1) the characteristics and problems of agrarian economies of crops such as coca and poppy; 2) the agency, social mobilization, and modes of expression of demands by producers and other actors in the illicit drug economy; 3) the complex relationships with the war and the armed actors involved in this illegal market.

Read other important articles on the topic here (toggle on the language option on the upper right to switch to English).


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