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International drug control

I began my research career working on international drug control. The aim of this investigation was to answer a seemingly simple question: why were drugs banned everywhere? The main discovery I made was that drugs were not prohibited but controlled. Indeed, drugs are used daily in medicine to relieve pain, psychological disorders or even provide anesthesia. There are therefore legal uses of drugs which have been the subject of regulation and control at the global level for almost a century. Illicit uses only exist with regard to this regulation of medical uses. My thesis was an opportunity to show how a perfectly regulated narcotics market was created at the global level for the benefit of Western pharmaceutical industries. International drug policy, even if it is increasingly contested today, nonetheless represents the first successful attempt at globalized economic regulation.

Poppy 1 cropped.jpg

Representation of international drug control by Frédérick Dudouet (2002)

We can see an opium poppy entwined by a snake which recalls the staff of Asclepius, symbol of medicine. In the background, the UN acronym.

Choice of publications

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