Examining the historical, economic and political context for the current prohibition of particular drugs, this study investigates the problem of drug control and provides a systematic analysis of the development of the international system of regulation. It identifies the political rationalities that provided the basis of that system and positions these moral justifications for exercising power in relation to the practical programmes that put them into practice. The work not only catalogues the techniques and strategies employed in the process of governing illicit drugs, it also notes the failures, unintended consequences and other difficulties associated with getting such programmes to work. It will be of key interest to students and scholars of crime and criminology, law and society, medico-legal studies and health studies.
'Governing the Heroin Trade sweeps through most of our common assumptions about how drugs have become a modern curse. In Melissa Bull's analysis, the shape of present concerns about heroin addiction appears somewhat strange, its truthfulness less certain. The value of a solid history of human sciences for understanding how we are governed is amply demonstrated here.' David McCallum, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia 'This book will be read by those with an interest in improving governance, particularly of illicit drugs. I commend it also to those prepared to have their views about why we problematize illicit drugs challenged and to see just how important the problematization is to the process of government and the lives of those governed.' Drug and Alcohol Review