NCBI Bookshelf. A service of the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.

Cover of Drugs Politics

Drugs Politics

Managing Disorder in the Islamic Republic of Iran


Author Information
Cambridge (UK): Cambridge University Press; .
ISBN-13: 978-1-108-47545-7

Iran has one of the world’s highest rates of drug addiction, estimated to be between two and seven per cent of the entire population. This makes the questions this book asks all the more salient: what is the place of illegal substances in the politics of modern Iran? How have drugs affected the formation of the Iranian state and its power dynamics? And how have governmental attempts at controlling and regulating illicit drugs affected drug consumption and addiction? By answering these questions, Maziyar Ghiabi suggests that the Islamic Republic’s image as an inherently conservative state is not only misplaced and inaccurate, but in part a myth. In order to dispel this myth, he skilfully combines ethnographic narratives from drug users, vivid field observations from ‘under the bridge’, with archival material from the pre- and post-revolutionary era, statistics on drug arrests and interviews with public officials. This title is also available as Open Access on Cambridge Core at


First published 2019

maziyar ghiabi is an Italian/Iranian social scientist, ethnographer and historian, currently a lecturer at the University of Oxford and Titular Lecturer at Wadham College. Prior to this position, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Paris School of Advanced Studies in Social Sciences (EHESS) and a member of the Institut de Recherche Interdisciplinaire des Enjeux Sociaux (IRIS). After finishing his BA and MA at the University of Ca’ Foscari Venice, he obtained a Doctorate in Politics at the University of Oxford (St Antony’s College) where he was a Wellcome Trust Scholar in Society and Ethics (2013–17). His interest falls at the crossroads of different disciplinary and intellectual fields, from medical anthropology to politics to modern social history across the Middle East and the Mediterranean. He is the editor of Power and Illicit Drugs in the Global South (Routledge, 2018).

Cambridge University Press has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or third-party internet websites referred to in this publication and does not guarantee that any content on such websites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.

Every effort has been made to contact the relevant copyright holders for the images reproduced in this book. In the event of any error, the publisher will be pleased to make corrections in any reprints or future editions.

Cambridge University Press is part of the University of Cambridge.

It furthers the University’s mission by disseminating knowledge in the pursuit of education, learning, and research at the highest international levels of excellence.

When citing this work, please include a reference to the

DOI 10.1017/9781108567084

A catalogue record for this publication is available from the British Library.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Names: Ghiabi, Maziyar, 1986– author.

Title: Drugs politics : managing disorder in the Islamic Republic of Iran / Maziyar Ghiabi.

Description: Cambridge, United Kingdom : Cambridge University Press, 2019. | Includes bibliographical references and index.

Identifiers: LCCN 2019001098 | ISBN 9781108475457 (alk. paper)

Subjects: LCSH: Drug control – Iran. | Drug abuse – Iran. | Drug abuse – Government policy – Iran.

Classification: LCC HV5840.I68 G48 2019 | DDC 362.29/15610955–dc23

LC record available at

© Maziyar Ghiabi 2019.

All versions of this work may contain content reproduced under license from third parties. Permission to reproduce this third-party content must be obtained from these third-parties directly.

This work is in copyright. It is subject to statutory exceptions and to the provisions of relevant licensing agreements; with the exception of the Creative Commons version the link for which is provided below, no reproduction of any part of this work may take place without the written permission of Cambridge University Press.

An online version of this work is published at under a Creative Commons Open Access license CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 which permits re-use, distribution and reproduction in any medium for non-commercial purposes providing appropriate credit to the original work is given. You may not distribute derivative works without permission. To view a copy of this license, visit

Monographs, or book chapters, which are outputs of Wellcome Trust funding have been made freely available as part of the Wellcome Trust's open access policy

Bookshelf ID: NBK543503PMID: 31291072DOI: 10.1017/9781108567084


Related information

Similar articles in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...