Viewed from the vantage point of drug-affected borderlands in Afghanistan, Colombia and Myanmar, are the policy goals of ‘a drug-free world’, ‘the promotion of peace’ and ‘sustainable development’ compatible?

In these areas of long-term conflict, it may be difficult – if not impossible – to pursue all three goals at the same time. Policymakers need to explicitly recognise the trade-offs involved in pursuing all three policies, and to make compromises that are guided by the priorities of borderland populations.

This policy brief presents the ‘Drugs-development-peacebuilding’ policy trilemma as a useful framework and tool for highlighting tensions and trade-offs between these three policy fields.

This policy brief is a collective effort, based on an article in the International Journal of Drugs Policy. The brief was drafted by Karen Brock with input from Jonathan Goodhand, Patrick Meehan and Louise Ball.

Read the full article: Goodhand, J., Meehan, P., Bhatia, J., Ghiabi, M., and Gutierrez Sanín, F. (2021) ‘Criticial policy frontiers: the drugs-development-peacebuilding trilemma’, International Journal of Drug Policy (free to download until 12 June 2021)