Oliver Villar is a lecturer in politics at Charles Sturt University in Bathurst, Australia, a country where he has lived for most of his life. He was born in Mendoza, Argentina.
In 2008 he completed his PhD on the political economy of contemporary Colombia in the context of the cocaine drug trade at the UWS Latin American Research Group (LARG). Whilst completing his PhD, Villar’s research interests in political economy, Latin America and the global drug trade followed teaching positions in politics at UWS and Macquarie University.
For the past decade his research has been devoted to the book (co-written with Drew Cottle) Cocaine, Death Squads, and the War on Terror: US Imperialism and Class Struggle in Colombia” ( Monthly Review Press . He has published broadly on the Inter-American cocaine drug trade, the US War on Drugs and Terror in Colombia, and US-Colombian relations.
This abiding interest extends across economic thought, economic development and the development of social and political relationships between the First World and Third World (in particular between the United States and Latin America) and the impact of neoliberal economic globalization.
Lars Schall: What has been your main motivation to spend 10 years of your life to the subject of the drug trade?
Oliver Villar: The main motivation goes sometime back. I think it has to do firstly with my own experiences in growing up in working class suburbs in Sydney, Australia. It always has been an area that I found very curious and fascinating just to think about how rampant and persuasive drugs really are in our communities, and just by looking at it in more recent times how much worse the drug problem has become, not just in lower socio-economic areas, but everywhere.
– Read the entire article at Alternet.