In 2017, late Tanzanian president John Magufuli publicly declared a war on drug users in Tanzania, an unprecedented change in policy in a country leading harm-reduction initiatives in East Africa. In the fall of 2018, Dane Degenstein traveled to Dar es Salaam to learn about these policy changes from those directly impacted. The War on Drugs in Tanzania: Prohibition and Punishment examines the impact of crackdowns on people who use drugs and the impact of policy changes that curtail progressive and humane approaches to improving services for drug users. Degenstein explores how the Tanzanian government sidelined donors and NGOs, undertook a project that directly impinged on human rights, and produced narratives contributing to a global war on drugs. Using the case study of Tanzania, Degenstein draws out larger lessons on the continued international commitment to the war on drugs, how old ideologies that see drug users as criminals and failures continue to be produced, and how the war on drugs erases the perspectives of drug users themselves. Focusing on the experiences of drug activists themselves, the author argues for a radical rethinking of global drug policy.
Dane Degenstein obtained his PhD in political science from the University of Ottawa.
PART I: Introducing the War on Drugs
Chapter 1: An Unwinnable War and an Enduring Global Threat: The War on Drugs
Chapter 2: The International War on Drugs – Regimes of Control and Mechanisms of Enforcement
PART II: The War on Drugs in Tanzania
Chapter 3: Maisha ya Bongo – Aid, Development and Corruption in Modern Tanzania
Chapter 4: Maskini, Maskani na Matatizo (Poverty, Hot Spots and Problems): Using Drugs in Dar es Salaam
Chapter 5: Performance and Reality – The War on Drugs in Tanzania
Chapter 6: Finding a Way to Cope: Supply, Survival and Resilience in Dar
PART III: Tanzania and the International War on Drugs
Chapter 7: Tanzania, the War on Drugs and International Influence – Shaping Perspectives and Policies
Chapter 8: The International War on Drugs: The Influence of Tanzania, Narrative Production and Outcomes
Conclusion: Advancing Harm Reduction in Belief and Practice
About the Author
“This meticulously researched book provides a timely analysis of the repressive war on drugs in Tanzania—a state known for its supportive drug-harm-reduction approach turning against the people it was supposed to protect. Degenstein provides a unique bottom-up view of drug prohibition in Africa and shows the devastating effects of this policy on drug users in Dar es Salaam. This is essential reading for those interested in African politics and global drug policy.”