University of Bradford, UK
JULIA BUXTON is Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for International Cooperation and Security in the Department of Peace Studies at the University of Bradford, UK.
Julia’s teaching includes security reform and the political economy of narcotic drugs. Julia was visiting professor at the Centre for Latin American Studies, Edmund A Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University in 2007. She is currently a member of the Corporacion Andina de Fomento (CAF) Working Party on Narcotic Drug Policy.
Julia has made written and fieldwork-based contributions to policy documents and publications regarding security, conflict, and violence, focusing on Sub-Saharan Africa, Iraq, Nepal and Colombia. She has also written private sector consultancies relating foreign investors and community councils, nuclear trajectories, agricultural expropriation gold mining and the oil industry. Julia has also written extensively on politics and the drug trade in Venezuela. She is the author of The Political Economy of Narcotic Drugs, The Failure of Political Reform in Venezuela, and editor, with N. Phillips, of Country Case Studies in Latin American Political Economy and is currently finalizing an edited collection The Politics of Drugs and an edited collection of the DDR working and thematic papers. Julia aims to develop her work on democracy, specifically exploring the limitations of contemporary democracy promotion strategies, and on the narcotic drugs trade particularly in West Africa. Julia’s current research interests are in the trade in narcotic drugs, democratisation and South American politics. Through her specialist interest in Venezuela she has sought to catalogue and analyse the radical changes taking place in the country.
Julia is a regular contributor and commentator for the print and broadcast media in the US, UK, Europe and South America and has written for Open Democracy and The World Today. Julia Buxton has participated in a diverse number of local, national and international conferences in academic, community and governmental settings. She has also presented talks on social development, Cuba, narcotic drugs, peace building, Venezuela and South America to local adult and youth community-based groups and to fringe meetings of the Labour Party, Trade Union Congress and UNISON.
Production, Consumption and Global Markets
By Julia Buxton
For nearly a century, regimes around the world have upheld a prohibitionist stance toward narcotics. The US has led this global consensus, enforcing recognition of international narcotics conventions and laws. Vast resources are pumped into the “war on drugs.” But in practice, prohibition has been an abject failure. Narcotics use continues to rise, while technology and globalization have made a whole new range of drugs available to a vast consumer market. Where wealth and demand exist, supply continues to follow. Prohibition has criminalized social groups, impeded research into alternative medicine and disease, promoted violence and gang warfare, and impacted negatively on the environment and ultimately has failed to stem consumption and production. The alternative is a humane policy framework that recognizes the incentives to produce, traffic and consume narcotics.