Author Archive

Jonas von Hoffmann

Jonas von Hoffmann is a doctoral student at Exeter College, working under the supervision of Professor Ezequiel Gonzalez Ocantos.

Jonas' research interests include drug policy, policy reform, legislative politics, social movements, political and criminal violence, drug trafficking and Latin America. He is particularly interested in the politics of drug policy reform in Latin America and has conducted fieldwork in and published about cannabis reform in Uruguay.

Jonas' thesis examines the variation of recent cannabis policy reforms in Latin America. Why and how do cannabis reforms occur and what accounts for differences across the region? Why has Uruguay legally regulated cannabis from seed to smoke, Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled in favor of autocultivo and Chile’s President allowed medicinal uses of cannabis by decree? To answer these questions, Jonas conducts a comparative analysis of the reform process in Uruguay, Mexico and Chile, using elite interviews, discourse analysis and process tracing.

Jonas holds a B.A. in Politics, Psychology and Sociology from the University of Cambridge (2013) and a M.Phil in Latin American Studies from the University of Oxford (2015). He was awarded the Crowley Price for my Masters’ dissertation, held an Amelia Jackson Scholarship from Exeter College and currently his research is funded by the ESRC.

When Uruguayans head to the polls for the second-round of the Presidential elections on 24 November, they are not only deciding on the next government but also the future of legal marijuana. In 2013, Uruguay became the first country in the world to legally regulate cannabis from seed to smoke. Despite international acclaim, cannabis reform was highly controversial in Uruguay. Public opinion overwhelmingly rejected the reform and the bill passed both the lower and upper houses of Congress with votes exclusively from the left-of-centre Broad Front. Notwithstanding its past, marijuana legalization’s future seems surprisingly safe, in spite Broad Front being in danger of losing the presidency it has occupied since 2005. In the first round on 27 October 2019, Broad …

In early September, President Donald Trump lost his third National Security Adviser, John Bolton. Since then it emerged that the two clashed over a number of issues, with the former advocating for US intervention in a number of countries and the latter favoring a less confrontational approach. Reportedly, Trump quipped that “if it was up to John, we’d be in four wars now.” In fact, the president has repeatedly stated his aversion to foreign (mis-)adventures. Trump’s “America First” approach to foreign policy has been at odds with Bolton’s “America Everywhere” approach from the outset. Why, then, did a president with such dovish tendencies chose a hawk’s hawk as National Security Adviser? What does the ouster of John Bolton tell us …

On September 24th, Germans elected a new parliament. The CDU/CSU won 32.9%, the SPD 20.5%, the AfD 12.6%, the FDP 10.7%, the Green Party 8.9%, Die Linke 9.2%. This outcome, resulting in the presence of six parties in the Bundestag, will complicate the formation of a new governing coalition. The right-wing Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) will enter the German Bundestag for the first time, but is politically shunned by other parties. Die Linke is ideologically too far removed from the Conservatives to ever govern with them. The once proud and mighty German Social Democrats (SPD) have been humbled by the election. In consequence, the Social Democrats have announced their intention to go into opposition. Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU), while …

Casual observers and the millions who have tuned in to watch the Presidential debates might be unaware of the other important vote taking place tomorrow: cannabis legalisation. While the omission of any question on climate change during the three Presidential debates garnered widespread attention, the legislation of this soft drug was the second major absentee in the televised clash between Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump. On November 8th, US citizens will not only elect a new President; initiatives to legalise recreational cannabis are also on the ballot in five states. There is a good chance that disappointed Trump or Clinton supporters will be able to drown their sorrows with legal marijuana in California, Nevada, Massachusetts, Arizona and Maine. The map …