“Drug Policy In the ‘Periphery:’ Epistemological Lessons from South America for International Norms Theories”
Nicolas Alexander Beckmann,
Assistant Professor, Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana in Medellín, Colombia
20 October 2022, Thursday at 12.30
Bilkent University, G Building, no: 160
*Please register: https://forms.gle/W9DHQZoCW8BjgVRr9
This presentation analyzes how the advocacy and contestation of international norms has shaped and shoved drug policy choices in South America, whose governments have responded in various and sometimes contradictory ways to the evident failure of the “war on drugs” and drug prohibition. In this exercise, it develops an argument in favor of a rationalist approach to international norms. This presentation’s broader goal, however, is to show how a rationalist approach can be fruitfully enhanced by competing visions on how international norms influence policy choices, namely sociological-institutionalism and post-positivism. These perspectives differ in terms of their epistemological foundations, ideas about what motivates political action, conceptualizations of international norms, and assumptions about how they work. Although some of their positions are difficult to reconcile, this research seeks go show that researchers cannot escape from paying attention to all three perspectives when trying to explain outcomes in the drug policy field and possibly other issue areas.