Professor Julia Buxton joins GDPO


Julia, also a Professor of Comparative Politics within the School of Public Policy at Central European University in Budapest, brings to the Observatory a diverse portfolio of academic and policy experience. A specialist on South America and the region’s rapidly evolving political, economic and security architecture she is an expert on Venezuela and is widely published on South America, including books, journal articles and media commentary.  Julia was previously Adjunct Professor in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, where she directed the Venezuela Studies programme. She is a member of the Latin American Studies Association and has served as track chair for Violence and (In)Security.

Outside of her geographic specialism, Julia has thematic expertise on democratisation and transition processes, post conflict recovery and conflict analysis, including conflict sensitive design and policy implementation, as well as gender, and gender sensitive design. Her work in this area is based on her policy and consultancy experience, including with USAID, SIDA and the UK Department for International Development. She has authored and contributed to over thirty commissioned reports relating to peace, conflict and security (2006-2012), including analysis of gender based violence, implementation of UNSCR 1325 and assessment of the conflict sensitivity of donor programs in West Africa, South and Central America, and South East and South West Asia. She has substantial experience in private sector consultancy, particularly as these relate to oil, industrial and financial investment and risk, and is Venezuela contributor at Oxford Analytica.

Pulling Julia’s diverse research strands together is her academic and policy work on narcotics. A published expert on the drug trade, she has a particular interest in the impact of narcotics and counter narcotics policies on development, peace building, poverty and human rights. She is currently ethical adviser on the LINKSCH project ‘Drug Policy: Unintended Impacts’ directed by Dr. Alex Marshall, Glasgow University and was a member of the Andean Development Corporation project on drug policy reform in South America, contributing a working paper on the limitations of alternative development strategies in counter narcotics efforts. Her drug related publications include The Political Economy of Narcotic Drugs (Zed, 2006), the edited collection The Politics of Narcotics Drugs (Routledge, 2010), ‘Opportunity Lost: Alternative Development in Drug Control’ in J. Tokatlian (ed) Old Wars: New Thinking, (Libros Zorazal, 2010); ‘A History of Drug Control’ in P. Keefer and N. Loayza (eds) Innocent Bystanders, (World Bank Publications, 2010) and ‘The UK drug problem in global perspective’, Soundings, Issue 42, Summer 2009.

In her role as GDPO Senior Research Officer, Julia will be working on a number of projects, including a drug policy focused critique of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals and a toolkit on the mainstreaming of the illicit drugs issue within a broader development agenda.  You can follow her on twitter – @buxtonjulia