Category Archives: PG Group

Latest meeting of the Postgraduate Network

The GDPO-sponsored postgraduate network met for the second time on 24th January at the London School of Economics (LSE).  We welcomed a number of new members to the group.

The new members of the group to attend were:

  • Kojo Koram, PhD candidate at Birkbeck University.  His thesis will examine the position of the law on controlled drugs within the legacy of empire. Kojo also works as a legal advisor with Release.
  • Chris Suckling, PhD candidate in Human Geography & Urban Studies at LSE.  His research interests are Youth Unemployment, Youth and Violence, Extra-Legal Livelihoods, West African Political Economy and Civil War, Urban Ethnography.
  • Maziyar Ghiabi, doctoral researcher in Politics and a Wellcome Trust Scholar in Society and Ethics at the University of Oxford. His research focuses on the phenomenology of drugs, ‘addiction’ and drug policy in Iran.
  • Clara Musto, joint Erasmus Mundus Doctorate candidate in Cultural and Global Criminology, at the University of Kent (UK) and the University of Utrecht (The Netherlands). Her PhD research project addresses the process of cannabis market regulation in Uruguay and its articulation with the international and the local debate.

Others members who attended the LSE meeting were:

Emily Crick (SwanseaUniversity, GDPO)

John Collins (LSE, LSE IDEAS)

Karina Garcia-Reyes (University of Bristol)

Claire Yorke (Kings College London)

We discussed the possibility of holding a small postgraduate conference later in the year on drug policy and related issues.  More details will be posted up soon but anyone who is interested in participating should contact the GDPO team.

You can find out more about the research interests of the members here. The next meeting of the PG Network will be at the end of April (date to be confirmed) and will probably be held in London.  Get in touch if you are interested in joining our exciting research group!   

GDPO launches new website and publications


The Global Drug Policy Observatory (GDPO) at Swansea University, UK, is pleased to announce the launch of its new website. Engaging in a range of ‘impact’ oriented activities, the recently established Observatory operates with the goal of promoting evidence and human rights based drug policy through the comprehensive and rigorous reporting, monitoring and analysis of policy developments at national and international levels. The new website provides a platform from which to disseminate a range of research outputs to broad and diverse audiences with the aim of helping to improve the sophistication and horizons of the current policy debate among the media and elite opinion formers as well as within scholarly, law enforcement and policymaking communities.

The website includes project pages on the topics of drugs in West Africa and regulated markets for the recreational use of cannabis within the USA.  Containing GDPO publications, as well as related blogs, audio files (which are also embedded within reports and briefs) and interactive maps where appropriate, these pages move away from the traditional snapshot approach towards the analysis of specific issue areas. Rather they are designed to provide users with a range of accessible resources that, as a topic selected for GDPO reporting, monitoring and analysis, develops over time.  The core of the West Africa project page is the policy brief ‘Telling the story of drugs in West Africa: The newest front in a losing war?.  A draft of this briefing was presented at a co-hosted GDPO – International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) event, ‘The securitisation of drugs in West Africa’, in London in October.    

Our detailed policy report on the cannabis policy in the US project page, Legally regulated cannabis markets in the US: Implications and possibilities, will soon be supplemented by a shorter policy brief, Voter demographics and campaign messaging: Lessons from Colorado, Washington and Oregon. Forthcoming project pages include the ‘narco-diplomacy’ of the Russian Federation and the privatisation of the drug war in Latin America.

The website will also be the repository for an additional publication stream, the GDPO Situation Analysis (SA) series.  Comprising documents of around 1,000 words, this aims to provide the diversity of stakeholders within the drug policy arena with concise, cutting edge analysis of key topics, enabling informed engagement with pertinent developments and debates.  Presented in a focused and standardized format, the GDPO-SA flag risks, opportunities and future trends in crucial issue areas, delivering readers actionable information and evidence based insight. Our first GDPO-SA focuses upon Afghanistan’s Bumper Opium Harvest, with others on drugs and cyber-crime and the khat regulation debate in the UK to follow shortly.

As well as containing a directory of our technical advisors and partner organizations, who both play a crucial role in peer reviewing Observatory publications, the website provides information on forthcoming drug policy related academic conferences and events and details of the GDPO Post Graduate Network.   The Network aims to bring together post graduate students and early years researchers in order to share ideas, discuss articles and provide support to any PG students working on drug policy or related issues.  The group will have a virtual presence on our website as well as meeting face-to-face when possible.

Please take a few minutes to visit the website and see what we’ve been working on over the past few months.  Remember, you can also follow GDPO on Twitter @GDPO_Swan and ‘like’ us on facebook where we will let you know about any new reports, briefs, blogs, GDPO-SA’s and related audio material.

GDPO Establishes a Post Graduate Network


On 26th November GDPO held the first meeting of the newly established post graduate network.  The network aims to bring together post graduate students and early years researchers in order to share ideas, discuss articles and provide support to any PG students working on drug policy or related issues.  The group will have a virtual presence on our website as well as meeting face-to-face when possible.

The first formal meeting was held in Bristol and attended by the following people:

IJ Benneyworth, PhD candidate at Cardiff University

John Collins, PhD candidate at the London School of Economics (LSE) and coordinator for the LSE IDEAS International Drug Policy Project

Emily Crick, PhD candidate Swansea University and GDPO research assistant

Karina Garcia, PhD candidate at the University of Bristol

Lisa Sanchez, is currently pursuing an MSc in Public Management and Governance at LSE.  She is also Latin American Programme Manager for Transform Drug Policy Foundation and México Unido contra la Delincuencia (MUCD) and is collaborating with LSE IDEAS as Project Associate

Other members who were unable to attend yesterday but will hopefully join us in either a physical or virtual presence in the future are:

Joe Dixon, PhD candidate at Swansea University

Jorge Linares Hamann, PhD candidate at the University of Bristol

Constanza Sanchez Aviles, PhD candidate at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona

Rajeev Gundur, PhD candidate at Cardiff University and founder of The Judicalis Group, a collective of scholars writing about crime and society

Camille Stengel, PhD candidate at University of Kent, Eötvös Loránd University, Utrecht University and University of Hamburg

Claire Yorke, PhD candidate at Kings College London

Clara Musto, PhD candidate at University of Kent.  Clara also works for Regulacion Responsible in Uruguay

Srinjoy Bose, PhD candidate at Australia National University

Chris Suckling, PhD candidate at the London School of Economics (LSE)

More details of each persons’ research interests can be found on our website under ‘PG Network

Please feel free to share this blog with any PG students that you think might be interested in joining us.  If you are interested in joining us, please contact Emily Crick, research assistant at GDPO with a short summary of your research.

Thanks and happy researching!