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Ghiabi, Maziyar (2022) 'Critique of everyday narco-capitalism.' Third World Quarterly, 43 (11). pp. 2557-2576.

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Capitalism is not only an economic mode of production; it is also a form of life. This also applies to a historical type of capitalism, which is the capitalism founded on (illicit) drugs – in other words: narco-capitalism. The article discusses how capitalism alters life at the nexus of drug production, trade and consumption through a study of drug heartlands in Colombia, Afghanistan and Myanmar. What forms of life emerge under narco-capitalism? And how do people seek change and express agency in the exploitative conditions governed by narco-capital? To do so, the article proceeds through the following sections: first, it elucidates its definition of the ‘everyday’ as a conceptual and methodological scheme to understand capitalist forms of life. Then it uses material collected from people’s everyday encounter with narco-capitalism in Afghanistan, Myanmar and Colombia to discuss mystification, predation and alienation. The article explores how capitalism produces forms of life that make use of drugs and narco-capital to dispossess and alienate collectivities. Finally, the article argues that to move beyond this alienating condition, drug wars and/or development are not a solution, because drugs are not the problem. Instead, it is people’s organisation and world-building in dialectical mode to capitalist forms of life that can transform everyday life beyond predation and alienation.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Everyday life, lifeworld, capitalism, Global South, drugs, social theory
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Development Studies
ISSN: 04136597
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
SWORD Depositor: JISC Publications Router
Date Deposited: 18 Apr 2022 11:35
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council, Wellcome Trust

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