This course introduces students to a number of complex issues that relate to the management of global drug control, addressing the primary societal impacts of illicit markets and organised crime, and the current global framework for countering them.

We will also analyse responses to organised crime in ‘weak’ and conflict-afflicted states to understand which policies have proved most effective in reducing the corrosive effects of illicit markets on populations, and also review innovative public health and sustainable development-oriented approaches which provide effective strategies to manage drug use and dependence, including interaction with broader global security and governance issues.

While this course will include reference to South Africa and Africa more broadly, it will also critically evaluate the move towards the legal regulation of cannabis and the potential for other substances in Latin America, the US and Canada, including their impact on organised crime.

About the Instructors

Professor Michael Shiner is an Associate Professor in the Department of Social Policy at the LSE. He is also assistant director of the Mannheim centre for criminology at the London School of Economics, and is a member of StopWatch, which works to ensure fair and accountable stop and search. He publishes extensively on policing and drug policy.

Dr. John Collins is Executive Director of the LSE IDEAS International Drug Policy Project as well as coordinator of the LSE Expert Group on the Economics of Drug Policy. John is coordinating a British Council funded project on “Illicit Drug Production and the Search for Peace in Colombia” as well as an LSE Research Division project on “Shifting Drug Strategies in Ireland and the UK”.

Professor Mark Shaw is the Director of the newly established Institute for Safety Governance in the Global South, a multidisciplinary research centre at the University of Cape Town (UCT). He also holds the South African National Research Foundation (NRF) Chair in Security and Justice. He is the Director of the Geneva based Global Initiative against Transnational Organised Crime.

Dr. Simon Howell is a Senior Researcher at the Institute for Safety Governance in the Global South at the University of Cape Town. He is an acknowledged expert in the evolution of drug use and drug markets in Cape Town and South Africa more generally, and is engaged in a number of research and community initiatives in the city. He has published extensively on drug use in South Africa.

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