Understanding illicit drug markets in Australia notes towards a critical reconceptualization

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Dwyer, Robyn ORCID: 0000-0002-1886-0733 and Moore, D (2009) Understanding illicit drug markets in Australia notes towards a critical reconceptualization. British Journal of Criminology, 50 (1). 82 - 101. ISSN 0007-0955


The dominant Australian approaches to the study of illicit drug markets are surveillance and criminological research. In this paper, we outline the main features of these approaches before presenting a critical discussion of some of their methods, assumptions and modes of analysis. We argue that these approaches are limited in terms of their methods; reliance on neo-classical economic models; abstraction from local contexts; oversight of social, cultural and political processes; exclusive focus on commercial transactions; under-theorizing of the market; and narrow conceptions of drug market subjects. We conclude by beginning to outline an alternative framework that draws on the anthropology and sociology of markets and that may lead to more nuanced understandings of illicit drug markets.

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Item type Article
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/26633
DOI 10.1093/bjc/azp065
Official URL http://bjc.oxfordjournals.org/content/50/1/82
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1601 Anthropology
Historical > FOR Classification > 1602 Criminology
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > College of Arts
Keywords criminological research; anthropology; sociology; illicit drug markets; methods; social relations; exchange; drug economies
Citations in Scopus 23 - View on Scopus
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