International relations and critical security studies are increasingly including the role of materiality in the study of security practices, inquiring into how objects act as both threat and /or endangered referent. However, objects of ‘dual-use’ – that is, objects that are not only threatening or in need of protection but also beneficial or pleasurable to the human collective – figure less prominently. Drugs are such an ambivalent matter: beneficial in the context of medicine and at the same time threatening in the context of crime. Mobilizing the concept of the dispositif, this article questions how drugs and addiction materialize in the practices of the global drug prohibition regime. I argue that the ambivalence of the material object ‘drug’ is the condition of possibility of the regime. The regime as an epitome of the ‘drug dispositif’ illustrates how ambivalent objects give rise to expanding security practices and specific power relations, highlighting how (critical) security analyses could profit from greater awareness of ambivalent matters.
- critical security studies
- international relations
- prohibition regime
Herschinger, E. (2015). The drug dispositif: ambivalent materiality and the addiction of the global drug prohibition regime. Security Dialogue, 46(2), 183-201. https://doi.org/10.1177/0967010614552544