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Dan, Seng Lawn, Maran, Ja Htoi Pan, Sadan, Mandy, Meehan, Patrick and Goodhand, Jonathan (2021) 'The Pat Jasan drug eradication social movement in Northern Myanmar. Part one: Origins and reactions.' International Journal of Drug Policy, 89 (103181).

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This commentary provides an introduction to the origins and emergence of Pat Jasan, a social movement that emerged amongst the Kachin population of northern Myanmar in response to a perceived crisis of illicit drug production and consumption. Although frequently presented as a case of drug vigilantism, we seek move beyond this stereotype by providing a granular account of the historical, political, and cultural conditions that lay the ground for the movement's emergence. Pat Jasan arose in the context of intersecting crises linked to protracted armed violence, extractive development and the ‘slow violence’ associated with widespread drug use. It was a response to a perceived vacuum of policing and the limitations of internationally supported harmed reduction measures to recognize or address the magnitude of the problem. Taking seriously the socially embedded foundations of the Pat Jasan movement provides an entry point for exploring how notions of harm reduction are constructed and understood locally and how movements like Pat Jasan emerge in response to societal concerns surrounding drugs.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Social movement; Harm reduction; Christianity; Conflict; Marginalization; Human rights; Representations; Vigilantism; Myanmar; Kachin Ceasefire
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Development Studies
ISSN: 09553959
Copyright Statement: This is the version of the article/chapter accepted for publication in International Journal of Drug Policy published by Elsevier. © 2021. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 17 Sep 2021 17:32
Related URLs: (Publisher URL)
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council

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