The GDPO Team

The GDPO team is committed to 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.

Professor David Bewley-Taylor, GDPO Director

David Bewley-Taylor

David is a Professor of International Relations and Public Policy within the Department of Political and Cultural Studies. He has been researching various aspects of drug policy for over twenty years with his main areas of interest being US drug policy, the UN and international drug policy and more recently counter narcotic strategies in Afghanistan. David has published widely on many of these and other topics, has collaborated with and produced policy reports for a range of drug policy organizations beyond academia and at present is an Associate of the International Drug Policy Consortium and a Associate Fellow of the Transnational Institute’s Drugs and Democracy Programme. He is editor-in-chief of the GDPO Policy Reports, Policy Briefs and Situation Analyses‌.

View Professor Bewley-Taylor's full Swansea University staff profile here


Julia Buxton, GDPO Senior Research Associate

Julia Buxton

Julia is Professor of Comparative Politics in the School of Public Policy at the Central European University, Budapest and was Senior Research Officer at GDPO 2013-2014. She researches on narcotic drug markets, with a specific focus on the inter-relationship between illicit drug economies, conflict, peacebuilding, and economic and democratic transitions. She has a particular interest in the impacts of counter narcotics strategies on gender, social justice and development. In addition to a number of GDPO policy reports, her drug related publications include The Political Economy of Narcotics (Zed, 2006), the edited collection The Politics of Narcotic Drugs (Europa 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

Twitter @BuxtonJulia


Axel Klein, GDPO Senior Research Associate

Axel Klein

Axel has been working on the development / security nexus as a Team Leader and expert for the European Commission funded Cocaine Route Programme. With projects in West Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, the programme was designed to tackle transnational organised crime and drug trafficking. The challenge was to direct partners away from seizures to in depth investigations, and in constructing an accountability framework.

Working with law enforcement and judicial authorities has been the unintended consequence of a long standing interest in drug issues and particularly the trans-cultural dimension in the spread of substances, habit and policy responses. Axel’s publications have looked at the policy environment (Drugs and the World, 2009), the tensions between cultural phenomenon and international prohibitions (Caribbean Drugs: from criminalisation to harm reduction, 2004), and the development dimension (The Khat Controversy: stimulating the debate on drugs, 2007). In addition, he has been working on the behavioural complex conventionally captured under the label ‘addiction’ and the range of interventions and treatments, an interest he continues to pursue as editor of the journal Drugs and Alcohol Today


Khalid Tinasti, Swansea University Honorary Research Associate

Khalid Tinasti, GDPO Honorary Research AssociateKhalid is the Executive Secretary of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, where he previously worked as a Policy Analyst starting 2013. Khalid researched the health dimension and approaches to illicit drugs through a Visiting Fellowship at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva in 2015-2016. His publications focus on drug policy and its link with health, governance, and a focus on the MENA region. Khalid has also briefly worked on national drug policy in France, at the Ministry of Urban Cohesion, and holds a PhD in political science.  


Martin Horton-Eddison, GDPO Research Assistant

Martin Horton-Eddison (Shrink Size)

Martin is a Research Assistant with the GDPO, and a Ph.D. Candidate at Swansea University.  He holds an MA (Distinction) in International Politics from Hull, and a BScEcon (Hons) in International Politics and Strategic Studies from Aberystwyth.  
Martin's Ph.D. is entitled ‘Drugs and the Dark Net: The Challenge of Anonymised Illicit Drugs Markets to the International Drug Prohibition Regime and the Westphalian System.’ His research investigates the transnational crypto-drug market phenomena and the associated challenges for drug control policy, including at the international level.  Martin seeks to quantify how anonymised online drug communities may significantly impact the primacy of the state in the international system, including to what extent dark net markets impact on traditional conceptions of identity and legal juristications.  His work for the GDPO also includes co-ordinating the GDPO Postgraduate Network, and managing the Observatory’s online activities  

Twitter @MartinHortonEdd


Liz Whitwell, Administrative Assistant

Liz Whitwell

Liz has worked at Swansea University since August 1991 and graduated this year with a BA Hons from Swansea University.  Before joining the College of Arts and Humanities in September 2012 she previously worked in the Department of Adult Continuing Education (DACE), which offers a wide range of part-time courses to prospective students without prior qualifications


Ross Eventon, GDPO Research Associate

167 x 167‌‌Ross has been researching and writing about conflict, social justice, human rights and drug policy for over 5 years. For two years he was based in Latin America, primarily Colombia, where he researched paramilitary violence in rural areas and took part in numerous human rights delegations, often accompanying communities under threat. His publications include a series on the Afghan war for the Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre (NOREF) - Russia, Afghanistan and the Great GameRussia, the U.S. and Drugs in AfghanistanThe War for Afghanistan - and reports for the Amsterdam based Transnational Institute (TNI) - A Veritable Revolution: The Land Restitution Law and the Transformation of Rural Colombia, Eyes Wide Shut: Corruption and Drug-related Violence in RosarioRoss was previously the Samuel Rubin Young Fellow at TNI. He holds an MA in International Relations from Webster Graduate School, and a BSc in Economics from the University of York

Christopher Hallam, GDPO Research Associate

158 x 158

Christopher Hallam obtained his PhD from the Centre for History in Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. His thesis was supervised by Professor Virginia Berridge. He trained as a historian, and his PhD research is entitled ‘Script Doctors and Vicious Addicts: Subcultures, Drugs, and Regulation under the “British System”, c.1917 to c.1960’, studying a period and geography having had very little prior academic attention

Prior to this, he worked as a research assistant at the Institute of Psychiatry at Kings College on the RIOTT project, studying the prescription of opioids in injectable form to long term heroin users. This involvement gave rise to his co-authorship in a number of peer-reviewed journal articles:Treatment expectations and satisfaction of treatment-refractory opioid-dependent patients in RIOTT, the Randomised Injectable Opiate Treatment Trial, the UK’s first supervised injectable maintenance clinicsand Methodology for the Randomised Injecting Opioid Treatment Trial(RIOTT): evaluating injectable methadone and injectable heroin treatment versus optimised oral methadone treatment in the UK

Christopher has in addition worked for several years as a researcher and analyst at the International Drug Policy Consortium, an international group of NGOs working on the production, trafficking and use of drugs classified as illicit. In this setting, he has developed a wide range of expertise in the history, structure and function of the international drug control apparatus, and has written a number of papers dealing with issues arising in this field, including “Mapping the world drug problem: Science and politics in the United Nations drug control system.” He has produced numerous grey literature articles, both as sole author and in collaboration with others, with recent publications including The international drug control regime and access to controlled medicines and Scheduling in  the international drug control system.

Alastair Smith, GDPO Research Associate

Alistair SmithAlastair is an inter-disciplinary researcher specialising in the Geographies of International Development. He is currently working in Panama at the School for Field Studies as Resident Lecturer in Environmental Policy and Socioeconomic Values.  Here Alastair undertakes research-led-teaching on a variety of issues relevant to sustainable development in the region of Bocas del Toro, including the issues of narcotic drugs and development. Alastair is also Honorary Research Fellow at the School of Planning and Geography, CardiffUniversity. He has worked on a variety of projects – funded by the ESRC & DFID – in Africa, Latin America and Asia, and inter alia has focused on livelihood development and decision making. Based on his empirical research, Alastair has published in a range of academic journals, as well as book chapters and institutional reports; and regularly provides consultancy services to a range of national and international NGOs. Alastair’s work for the GDPO focuses on research and analysis of primary producers in the drugs supply chain

Tim Bingham, GDPO Research Associate

Tim BinghamTim Bingham is a researcher on emerging drug trends and on-line drug market places. He has authored and co-authored a number of journal articles on these issues (, with a recent focus on the ‘Dark Web’ and the on-line drug commerce site Silk Road. These includeSurfing the Silk Road’: A study of users’ experiences and Responsible vendors, intelligent consumers: Silk Road, the online revolution in drug tradingin the International Journal of Drug Policy.  In 2013 he was a member of an expert panel at the Drug Policy Alliance Conference in Colorado on new and emerging drugs and presented to the European Monitoring Centre on Drugs and Drug Addiction.  Tim holds a BA Honours in Applied Addiction Studies and a Diploma in the Psychology in Criminal Behaviour and is a visiting lecturer to a number of Universities in Ireland 

Constanza Sánchez Avilés, GDPO Research Associate


Constanza Sánchez Avilés is a political scientist and holds a PhD in International Relations and International Law. Her work focuses on political economy of illicit drugs, transnational organized crime and national and international drug policies, issues on which she has published several papers and book chapters. From 2007 to 2013 she worked at the Department of International Law and International Relations at Universitat Pompeu Fabra. She has been visiting scholar at the University of Miami (2010), the Justice in Mexico Project at the University of San Diego (2012) and Research Assistant at the Global Drug Policy Observatory at Swansea University (2013). She conducted fieldwork on drug policies in Peru, the United States, Mexico and the US-Mexican border and collaborates with several drug policy research institutions.

Constanza currently coordinates the Law, Policy and Human Rights activities at ICEERS Foundation, including legal defense for ayahuasca partitioners who are prosecuted, policy reform activities and the develpment of reports about this subject matter. In this regard she coordinates the Ibiza Expert Committee for the Rularization of Psychoactive Ethnobotanicals created at the World Ayahuasca Conference in Ibiza in September of 2014, and the Teacher Plants Legal Defense Fund

Emily Crick, GDPO Research Associate

Emily CrickEmily has been working as a researcher on drug policy issues for five years including two years as a research associate at Transform Drug Policy Foundation where she contributed to ‘After the War on Drugs: Blueprint for Regulation’.  She is currently undertaking a PhD at Bristol University.  Before this she carried out research into sport and national identity in Pakistan and India and spent 10 years working in the international media for companies including Reuters and NBC News. Her recent publications include Drugs as an Existential Threat - An Analysis of the International Securitization of Drugs, International Journal of Drug Policy, September 2012.  Emily was previously a Research Assistant with the GDPO, 2012-2013