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Article

Connor M. Chapman and DeMond Shondell Miller

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the framing of the emergency response to the novel coronavirus (coronavirus disease 2019 [COVID-19]; severe acute respiratory…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the framing of the emergency response to the novel coronavirus (coronavirus disease 2019 [COVID-19]; severe acute respiratory syndrome-like coronavirus [SARS-CoV-2]) in 2020 with wartime combat language. Metaphors have been used throughout American politics and society to frame perceived social problems, to both mobilize support and demobilize opposition. By simplifying and dichotomizing social problems, latent negative consequences frequently emerge, which tend to have a disproportionate impact on minority communities.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper used a case study and applied text from presidential press conferences and policy speeches from multiple sources on the War on Poverty, the War on Drugs and the War on COVID-19. The work identified common themes, actions and policies that can lead to other stakeholders adapting the “war” rhetoric.

Findings

An apparent cycle emerged – from disdain to metaphorical “war,” to policy, to law, to consequences and back to disdain – that fueled the American political system and, by extension, systematic oppression. The COVID-19 pandemic appears to be another crucible for this cycle to repeat itself. The series of examples illustrate how public leaders use the “war metaphor” as an all-out victory approach to galvanize policy responses to social issues, crises and natural disasters. By local, national and international stakeholders.

Research limitations/implications

Limitations of this study are the limited use of the metaphor and the time of completing this manuscript. The paper only views the presidential use and interpretation of the war metaphor. The COVID-19 pandemic disaster is persisting and the race for a vaccine is underway. While the authors present the immediate policy impacts, it is too early to understand the long-term policy impacts typically measured over decades.

Practical implications

This paper contributes to the literature by employing three case studies: the War on Poverty, the War on Drugs and the War on COVID-19 pandemic to draw comparisons between wartime rhetoric, social policies and the sociopolitical implications of those policies, as well as how these policies have the potential to disproportionately affect socially vulnerable populations.

Originality/value

This paper builds on research regarding the use of metaphor, this analysis bridges a knowledge gap by employing the COVID-19 case to the historical use of the war metaphor.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 40 no. 9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Book part

Arthur W. Frank's dialogical narrative analysis (DNA) has been a recent addition to the plethora of methods in analysing stories. What makes this method unique from the…

Abstract

Arthur W. Frank's dialogical narrative analysis (DNA) has been a recent addition to the plethora of methods in analysing stories. What makes this method unique from the rest is its concern for both the story's content and its effects. Stories are seen as selection/evaluation systems that do things for and on people. This chapter aims to provide the reader a heuristic guide in conducting DNA and emphasises learning through exemplars as the way of learning DNA. It provides an outline of DNA and reviews how researchers have applied it in different disciplines. Then, DNA will be applied in in the current ‘war on drugs’ in the Philippines. The stories of the policy actors – for and against the drug war – will be analysed to explore how stories affect policy choices and actions, call actors to assume different identities, associate/dissociate these actors and show how they hold their own in telling their stories. Finally, the potential of using DNA in criminology and criminal justice will be discussed.

Details

The Emerald Handbook of Narrative Criminology
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-006-6

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Intelligence and State Surveillance in Modern Societies
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-171-1

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Marie Gottschalk

Discussion of the 2016 electorate has centered on two poles: results of public opinion and voter surveys that attempt to tease out whether racial, cultural, or economic…

Abstract

Discussion of the 2016 electorate has centered on two poles: results of public opinion and voter surveys that attempt to tease out whether racial, cultural, or economic grievances were the prime drivers behind the Trump vote and analyses that tie major shifts in the political economy to consequential shifts in the voting behavior of certain demographic and geographic groups. Both approaches render invisible a major development since the 1970s that has been transforming the political, social, and economic landscape of wide swaths of people who do not reside in major urban areas or their prosperous suburban rings: the emergence and consolidation of the carceral state. This chapter sketches out some key contours of the carceral state that have been transforming the polity and economy for poor and working-class people, with a particular focus on rural areas and the declining Rust Belt. It is meant as a correction to the stilted portrait of these groups that congealed in the aftermath of the 2016 election, thanks to their pivotal contribution to Trump's victory. This chapter is not an alternative causal explanation that identifies the carceral state as the key factor in the 2016 election. Rather, it is a call to aggressively widen the analytical lens of studies of the carceral state, which have tended to focus on communities of color in urban areas.

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Rethinking Class and Social Difference
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-020-5

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Article

Allan Metz

Historically, Panama has always been “a place of transit.” While technically the isthmus formed part of Colombia in the nineteenth century, it was linked geopolitically to…

Abstract

Historically, Panama has always been “a place of transit.” While technically the isthmus formed part of Colombia in the nineteenth century, it was linked geopolitically to the United States soon after the California gold rush, beginning in the late 1840s. The first attempt at building a canal ended in failure in 1893 when disease and poor management forced Ferdinand de Lesseps to abandon the project. The U.S. undertaking to build the canal could only begin after Panama declared itself free and broke away from Colombia in 1903, with the support of the United States.

Details

Reference Services Review, vol. 19 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

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Article

Steve Rolles

While the consensus behind the prohibitionist paradigm of drug control is crumbling in the face of its long term failure, the debate on alternative approaches has stalled…

Abstract

While the consensus behind the prohibitionist paradigm of drug control is crumbling in the face of its long term failure, the debate on alternative approaches has stalled in the absence of clearly defined models of regulated drug markets. Such models have now been proposed for a range of currently illegal drugs in the recent publication by Transform Drug Policy Foundation (Rolles, 2009), After the War on Drugs: Blueprint for regulation. These regulatory models, with the rationale behind them, are outlined by the book's author.

Details

Drugs and Alcohol Today, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1745-9265

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Carla Monteleone, Raul Caruso and Andrea Locatelli

The purpose of this chapter is to investigate on the relationship between terrorism, criminal organisations, and the so-called ‘new wars’.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this chapter is to investigate on the relationship between terrorism, criminal organisations, and the so-called ‘new wars’.

Methodology/approach

Review of the existing literature on the ‘new wars’ and on the terrorism–crime nexus; estimate of the financial revenues gained by terrorist groups engaged in illicit activities.

Findings

Terrorist and criminal groups can develop several forms of collaboration. Whether terrorists convert to criminal activities or not depends on a variety of factors, both internal and external. In some cases these links are occasional and opportunistic, associated with the possibility of exploiting the availability of specialised competences in a stateless environment, in other cases the warring parties are directly involved and create stable relationships as a way to finance their war activities.

Research limitations/implications

Lack of reliable data limits a comprehensive analysis. Nevertheless, the study has important consequences for designing and adopting more effective policies regarding terrorism, organised crime, as well as conflict resolution.

Originality/value of the chapter

The study presents an overview of different strands of the literature on terrorism; a discussion is articulated on the interplay between ‘new wars’ and the terror–crime connection. Potentially fruitful avenues of investigation are suggested for future research.

Details

Understanding Terrorism
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-828-0

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Book part

Abstract

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The Impact of Global Drug Policy on Women: Shifting the Needle
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-885-0

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Book part

Caroline Chatwin

This chapter provides a critical exploration of the European Union’s impact on the 2016 United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) proceedings and Outcome…

Abstract

This chapter provides a critical exploration of the European Union’s impact on the 2016 United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) proceedings and Outcome document. It demonstrates that the ability to produce a European ‘common position’ ahead of the UNGASS debates represents a significant step forward in the ability to ‘speak with one voice’ in the global illicit drug policy arena, and has played an important role in ensuring key issues such as human rights and public health remain on the agenda. In highlights, however, a European failure to engage with issues such as the continuing suitability of the international drug conventions to preside over the current climate of drug policy innovation and experimentation, and the unintended consequences of a ‘war on drugs’ approach. Ultimately, therefore, it argues that these failures will hamper the development of a more progressive and effective global drug policy.

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Collapse of the Global Order on Drugs: From UNGASS 2016 to Review 2019
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-488-6

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Article

John Collins

The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of civil society in the recent history of drug policy reform. It focuses on the UN drug control system, which is designed…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of civil society in the recent history of drug policy reform. It focuses on the UN drug control system, which is designed to regulate certain “scheduled” or listed substances internationally. It provides new light on recent reformist discourses and strategic agendas and how they related to the reality of UN politics and international relations. It questions the idea that the UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs (UNGASS) in 2016 was a failure in terms of outcomes. It concludes by suggesting that the true outcomes of the UNGASS process will initially be obscured by the complexity of national-international drug policy dialectics, but may eventually prove more tangible and enduring than proposed formal systemic reforms.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper examines the historical role of civil society in the UN drug control system. It highlights that although civil society played a key role in the early formation of the system, this role diminished over time as the system professionalised. Meanwhile, as a new reformist movement emerged in the 1990s challenging the status quo, the paper traces this movement through the early UNGASS process, the decline of the reformist era and the eventual UNGASS outcomes. It concludes with a critical evaluation of civil society strategies and the relationship between idealistic strategies and the realities of national and international politics.

Findings

Rather than a failure of outcomes, UNGASS represented a failure of assumptions, strategic vision and ultimately expectations on the part of reform optimists. These groups ultimately created and became captive to a goal of formal systemic reforms, or treaty revisions, underpinned by a dogmatic assumption of “the inescapable logic of reform necessity”. This logic argued that highlighting treaty “breaches” and contradictions would be a sufficient condition to drive a formal UN system-wide re-evaluation of drug control. These failures of strategic assumptions and vision ultimately resulted in the sense of “failure” of UNGASS 2016.

Research limitations/implications

This research highlights the need to critically evaluate civil society strategies and desired outcomes with an eye to history, international relations and the realities of managing a complex global issue. The application of mono-causal explanations for individual state actions or international cooperation is shown to be vastly insufficient to explain, plan for or predict the outcomes of a complex multilateral framework. Furthermore, this paper highlights a research agenda on the role of civil society in drug policy formation and how this relates to the current policy and advocacy groupings among member states and interest groups at national and international levels.

Practical implications

This paper highlights a more realistic appraisal of the determinants of and possibilities to change international drug policy. It thereby utilises an impressionistic historical narrative of the UNGASS process to enable an evaluation of the frontiers of policy reform at the UN level and provide some guidance on the failures of past strategies and potential future directions of international drug control and reformist strategies.

Social implications

As highlighted in this paper, drug policy is an area where major policy failures are recognised within the current international approach. Experimentation with new tactics and strategies are needed to break out of the traditional prohibition-centric approach to this issue. The benefits of more successful policies would be felt though a lower level of harm from drug use, drug markets and drug policy. As such, a pragmatic understanding of how the international system might evolve to support new evidence-based approaches is crucial to developing a socially beneficial approach to drugs and drug policy.

Originality/value

The originality of this research lies in its blending of a historical evaluation of the role of civil society in the UN drug control system and the strategies of contemporary civil society actors around the UNGASS process. Thereby it allows a more critical evaluation of the strategic goals, assumptions and outcomes of reformist strategies in the recent era and potential strategies moving forward.

Details

Drugs and Alcohol Today, vol. 17 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1745-9265

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