Framing Realities - An analysis of the constructed drug issue

by Rachel Jeanette Jensen

Institution: Roskilde University
Year: 2015
Keywords: Constructivism; UN; Civil Society; Drug issue; UNGASS; UNODC; Transnational advocacy networks
Record ID: 1120044
Full text PDF: http://rudar.ruc.dk/handle/1800/21658


The global drug problem has been identified as one of the greatest threats to society. The problem is however diagnosed distinctively and the measures to counter it are thus disagreed upon. In this project the ways in which respectively UN agencies and civil society networks have framed the problem are analyzed. Main documents of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime are scrutinized and contrasted to the international Drug Policy Consortium’s main advocacy paper. Constructivist theories about international organizations are used to understand how the self-identity of the UN determines its interests and behavior, and how it influences policies by the power of its ideas and expertise. Theories of transnational advocacy networks explain how these make use of complex techniques of pressuring to gain influence on the interests and moral ideas of the UN as well as its member states. On the basis of the key documents and the chosen theories, it is argued that the drug issue is framed in ways that legitimize the authority of each actor and broadens the spectrum of their influence. Their interests and behaviors are thus determined by their ideas and self-identities.