Drug Politics: Dirty Money and Democracies

Narcotics trafficking touches the legitimate economy at all levels: from the street outside our houses to the banks we use. It's not possible to understand global politics and finance without understanding the vast and secret business of drugs. In 1999, that industry was $500 billion: we can imagine what it has grown to in 2018.

Written by the former ambassador from the United States to Peru, this book touches on two dimensions: first, the financial structure of the drug trade itself, which is given the support of the same large banks which command social status in the legitimate economy (the most well-known example is HSBC), and second the ability of governments ("narco-states") to use drug revenues to finance a grip on power that is unassaible by a democratic movement.

Any discussion of globalization should include the fact that organized crime has also become transnational.

Preview at Google Books


Jordan, David C. Drug Politics: Dirty Money and Democracies. University of Oklahoma Press, 2016.

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