WISER Invitation -- Heroin Coast: the political economy of the heroin trade along the Indian Ocean seaboard

Friday, 3 August, 2018 - 12:30

WiSER and Oceanic Humanities invite you to a lunch time seminar by

Simone Haysom

Heroin Coast: the political economy of the heroin trade along the Indian Ocean seaboard

The Indian Ocean seaboard plays a key role in the world's third largest heroin route out of Afghanistan -- yet until recently its mechanics and geography were poorly understood. Drawing on the Global Initiative against Transnational Crime's 'Heroin Coast' report, this talk provides an analysis of the how the trade has become embedded in political systems along the Indian Ocean coast, arguing that the 'governance' of the heroin trade mirrors the governance system of the country where it operates, and that the control of the trade both shapes and is shaped by local political dynamics. This argument draws on a trend we observe, across the continent, where sharp escalations in the prevalence of organised crime correlate to economic liberalisation and moves to multiparty democracy. In other words, organised crime thrives in democracies and is facilitated by economic growth. 

The talk also covers attempts to understand the 'impact' of illicit trade, including the public health impact of the drug trade (and the merits, or lack thereof, in the public health responses along the coast); the linkages between murder rates and the drug trade; and the other pressures that organised crime and corruption places on civil society. 

Thursday, 2nd August   

WiSER Seminar Room,
6th Floor, Richard Ward Building,
East Campus, Wits University

All welcome.

SIMONE HAYSOM is a South African writer and a previous recipient of a Miles Morland scholarship for African writers. She has degrees from the universities of Cape Town and Cambridge, which she attended as a Gates Scholar, and is currently a Senior Analyst at the Global Initiative against Transnational Organised Crime, where her current research focuses on illicit trade and corruption, and wildlife cybercrime.