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Francisco J. Lara, Jr
Nikki Philline C. de la Rosa
The spiral of State-led violence against the illegal drug trade in Southeast Asia did not end nor disrupt this shadow economy and its complex links to state and non-state actors as well as the newly emerging violent extremism. The evidence in fact shows that the violent response to the problem has only fuelled more economic, political, and security concerns. The case is the same in the Philippines where an indiscriminate and violent war on drugs has not lived up to its promises. Yet why is there continued public support for the anti-drug war despite its failures, and from among those that are often victimized by its violence? This paper takes an economic sociology approach to the problem of illegal drugs and turns the spotlight on the threats to embedded social networks posed by this deadly enterprise. Using quantitative and qualitative evidence and case studies of a province and city recognized as a hotbed in the government’s anti-drug war, the study will show how collusion and collision are alternate realities and means of adapting to an illicit enterprise that is bound to many social and economic arrangements, including those brought about by violent extremism.

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Nikki Philline C. de la Rosa

Country Manager of International Alert Philippines

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