Postgraduate Network

The GDPO PostGraduate Network

The GDPO PGN aims to become a meeting point for postgraduate students and early-career researchers working on various topics related to drug policy. If you are a post graduate scholar in the drug policy field, and you are interested in joining our network, then please contact us using the ‘Join the Post Graduate Network’ form to the right.

Maziyar Ghiabi

‌‌141 x 212Maziyar is an Italian/Iranian researcher reading for a DPhil degree in Politics at the University of Oxford (St Antony’s College) and a Wellcome Trust Scholar in Society & Ethics (2013-16). He holds an MPhil (Distinction) in Modern Middle Eastern Studies from Oxford, an MA (magna cum laude) in International Relations from the University of Venice Ca’ Foscari. His doctoral research was an investigation of the phenomenology of illicit drugs and addiction in modern Iran, with an especial focus on the post-revolutionary process of state formation. Based on historical research and ethnographic fieldwork, Maziyar studied civil society organisations as well as governmental agencies operating in the field of addiction treatment, while he also interned at the Tehran’s Bureau of the UNODC.

In October 2016, he organised a two-day symposium at Oxford on ‘Drugs, Politics and Society in the Global South’, supported by the Wellcome Trust, which will be published in a forthcoming Special Issue of Third World Quarterly where he will act as Guest Editor. He has also published a number of peer-reviewed articles on drug policy in Iran, political protests in the MENA and state-society relations. He has previously been Visiting Researcher at SciencesPO-Paris (CERI) during 2014/2015 and Teaching Fellow of the Paris School of International Affairs in 2016.

You can follow Maziyar on Twitter at @MaziGhiabi

His research is available on at

You can email Maziyar at

Martin Horton-Eddison

Martin Horton-EddisonMartin is 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.  He has attracted full scholarships at both Hull and Swansea.  

Martin's Ph.D. is entitled "Crypto-Drug Markets: A Unique Challange to the Global Drug Prohibition Regime?" His research investigates the transnational crypto-drug market phenomena and the (potential) associated challenges for drug control policy.  His work seeks to quantify to what extent CDMs impact the international prohibition regime, national prohibition policies, and state enforcement strategies. His research operates within, and contibutes to, IR Regime Theory, and interesects with questions regarding the ongoing primacy of the state in the international system, traditional conceptions of identity, and international and domestic legal juristications. 

Martin provides seminar teaching in several areas of International Politics to undergraduate level at Swansea, and is a Research Assistant with the Global Drug Policy Observatory.  His work for the GDPO also includes co-ordinating the GDPO Postgraduate Network, and managing the Observatory’s online profile.  

You can find Martin on Twitter at @MartinHortonEdd

You can follow Martin on here 

You can email Martin at


David Pérez Esparza

David Pérez Esparza obtained his Bachelor degree (Hons) in International Relations, and a Specialisation Postgraduate degree in Prospective & Strategic Planning, both from Monterrey Tech (ITESM).

Currently, David is pursuing a PhD in Security and Crime Science at University College London (UCL), where he specialises in policing, organised crime, and illegal movements of drugs and firearms

He also holds three Master degrees. One in Political Economy and Conflict Resolution from the University of Essex, in the UK; a second one in Security from University College London (UCL), and a third one in Public Policy from the ITESM-EGAP Graduate School of Governance. Additionally, he has completed diplomas and seminars at Harvard University, the University of Prague, the University of Liverpool, the World Bank, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Academy.

David has worked as a consultant and researcher leading a number of projects related to organised crime, police reform, drug markets, corruption, situational crime prevention, firearms trafficking, human rights, and the security sector reform in the U.S., Mexico, and the UK.

Based in London, he participates in a project aiming to reduce and predict crime for the UK College of Policing.

You can visit David's website here

You can email David at

Joe Whittaker

Joe WhittakerJoe is a PhD candidate researching Terrorism Studies at Swansea University and Leiden University. He has previously achieved a BA (Hons) from the University of Hull reading Politics & Philosophy and an MA (Dist.) from the same institution in International Politics.
His PhD focuses on the ways in which the Internet can affect the radicalisation to violent extremism, specifically whether the Internet can play a driving, or merely a facilitative role. This topic is particularly pertinent because, despite most instances of violent extremism having a digital footprint, the little existing literature quickly becomes obsolete due to the constantly evolving nature of the Internet.
Joe is also a member of the Cyber Terrorism Project; a multidisciplinary, multi-institution project which exists to facilitate debate around a series of core questions relating to terrorism on the Internet. His other research interests include: Middle East Studies, International Relations, Applied Ethics, and Political Philosophy.

You can connect with Joe on Twitter at @CTProject_JW

You can engage with Joe's research on at


You can email Joe at

Joe Dixon

JoeDixonJoe is a PhD candidate at Swansea University.  He recently submitted his PhD dissertation, entitled Afghanistan's Wicked Problems: Counterinsurgency and Counternarcotics between 2002 and 2011, for examination expected in the first quarter of 2017.

He has an undergraduate degree in War and Society from Swansea. The work for his PhD dissertation focused on tensions between counterinsurgency and counternarcotics in Afghanistan between 2002 and 2011. The research was highly interdisciplinary in nature, drawing on behavioural science, anthropology, history, and other fields not typically considered in discussions of drug control (especially in producer countries).

You can find Joe’s research profile on Research Gate here

Email Joe at