Central and Southeastern Europe in Transition: Perspectives on Success and Failure since 1989

By Hall Gardner | Go to book overview

Chapter 8
Ulysses and the Lotus Eaters

Michel Koutouzis

Today, the world of drug trafficking transcends the former notions of Empire, cold war spheres of interest, and end-of-century capitalism. It is rather a composite of workable elements from these three historic models joined together in a netherworld where the rules and regulations of everyday life are taken for granted. In this gray zone, licit and illicit merchandise cross paths; criminal networks have usurped the trade routes of antiquity, the highways of pilgrimage, and the byways of tourism; clandestine swapping of goods has become the substitute for interstate trade; embargoes suddenly add zeros to the price of sought-after merchandise; time and money are worth their weight in gold; and the kings and courtiers meet on islands surrounded by water so blue it makes a person wince.


THE CHANGING FACE OF THE DRUG BUSINESS

Until the 1980s, drug refining, export, and distribution was largely in the hands of large criminal organizations, which had with foresight invested in various pipeline activities (plantation, transportation, and transformation of raw materials; transportation of semi-refined/refined products, distribution; and money laundering, etc.) during the previous decade.

The main players operating on a global scale were considered to be Italian organized crime, Turkish maffyas, Chinese triads, Colombian cartels, Southeast Asian warlords, and the Japanese Yacusa. Each group held a monopoly over a geographic area. But it was not at all unusual for one or more groups to join forces in a mutually beneficial venture. Beginning in the early 1990s, however, the illegal drug market underwent a monumental structural overhaul.

A number of factors were responsible for this transformation, the first one being the upbeat efforts and growing success of national law enforcement

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Central and Southeastern Europe in Transition: Perspectives on Success and Failure since 1989
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Foreword vii
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Introduction 1
  • Chapter 1 in Search of East-Central Europe: Ten Years After 5
  • Notes 19
  • Chapter 2 the Balkans: A Distorted, Third World Reflection of Europe 21
  • Notes 28
  • Chapter 3 Rusty Ottoman Keys to the Balkans of Today 31
  • Notes 42
  • Chapter 4 the Role of Culture Under the Communist and Post-Communist Eras 43
  • Chapter 5 the Transformation of the Media in Post-Communist Central Europe 51
  • Notes 60
  • Chapter 6 the Media in Transition in Southern Central Europe 61
  • Notes 73
  • Chapter 7 a Balance of Economic Reforms in Central and Eastern Europe 75
  • Notes 92
  • Chapter 8 Ulysses and the Lotus Eaters 97
  • Notes 110
  • Chapter 9 Environmental Security and Civil Society 113
  • Notes 142
  • Chapter 10 the Genesis of Nato Enlargement and of War "Over" Kosovo 151
  • Introduction 151
  • Notes 181
  • Name Index 199
  • Subject Index 203
  • Contributors and Editors 209
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