1st Edition

Challenging the U.S.-Led War on Drugs
Argentina in Comparative Perspective

ISBN 9781138368255
Published June 10, 2019 by Routledge
170 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations

USD $49.95

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Book Description

Challenging the U.S.-Led War on Drugs explores the cases that have resisted the U.S. pressure to adopt a militarized approach to fight against drug trafficking in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Through a sweeping narrative history from the recovery of democracy in 1983 to the present, Cutrona applies international relations and comparative politics theories to understand Argentina’s different trajectory vis-à-vis the rest of the region. The author demonstrates that in broad questions of vulnerability to U.S. pressure, external factors often play a secondary role in explaining either balancing/resistance or bandwagoning/acceptance of the U.S. security agenda in the Americas. Emphasizing the role of domestic-level politics, Cutrona identifies the subordination of the military to civilian oversight, the transition outcome, the system of check and balances, and the role of civil society actors such as social movements, epistemic communities, and norm entrepreneurs as Argentina’s most relevant sources explaining defection from Washington’s main dictates to combat drug trafficking.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

List of Figures

List of Tables

Introduction: The U.S. counter-narcotics strategy in the AmericasChapter 1: The emergence and consolidation of the Standard Security Model: Exploring the Colombian case

Chapter 2: 1983-1989: The Alfonsín administration

Chapter 3: 1989-1999: The Menem administration

Chapter 4: 1999-2015: The Kirchners’ administrations

Chapter 5: The drug-problem today

Conclusions: Lessons from deviance

Epilogue: The Macri administration


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Sebastián Antonino Cutrona is a professor at Universidad Nacional de La Rioja, Argentina. His research interests mainly consist in Latin American politics, organized crime and drug trafficking.


"There is remarkably little written in English on how the U.S.-sponsored international "war on drugs" has played out in Argentina. This timely book helps to fill this huge gap, appropriately framing the case in regional comparative perspective." - Peter Andreas, Brown University, Author of Smuggler Nation: How Illicit Trade Made America

"Cutrona's superbly researched and well written study of drug policies in Argentina is a pioneering work on this understudied subject in the Southern Cone countries and required reading for anyone - the general public, students and specialists alike - interested in the growing problems of drug consumption, drug trafficking, and drug-related crime, violence and corruption in his country." - Bruce M. Bagley, University of Miami