Carroll's new book, "Narkomania: Drugs, HIV, and Citizenship in Ukraine," has been released from Cornell University Press.
Jennifer Carroll, assistant professor of anthropology, has published a new book on substance use and health politics in Ukraine. "Narkomania" asks readers to rethink everything they know about addiction and statebuilding by positing a relationship between them.
Carroll's main argument is that much contemporary state building in the former Soviet sphere is premised on an ideology that harnesses shared beliefs about people who use drugs in order to relegate these individuals to the political margins. Specifically, people who use drugs are cast as a stigmatized and excluded "other" that the state can then protect the rest of the population from. Carroll calls these shared beliefs about what drug use is and who drug users are the “addiction imaginary." In her analysis, she is especially interested in the ways it intersects with the lived experiences of people who use drugs via the institution of the methadone clinic.
Based on three years of fieldwork in Ukraine, much of which took place during a period of time when the Ukrainian government was collapsing, "Narkomania" details the cultural and historical backstory of Eastern Europe's ongoing geopolitical crises, exploring each step of the way what people who use drugs can teach us about the contemporary societies emerging in post-Soviet space. The result of that analysis, according to one reviewer, is "a gorgeously written, often poignant, occasionally furious look at the ways drug policies ostensibly meant to help drug users in fact does great violence to them."