David is a Professor of International Relations and Public Policy and founding Director of the Global Drug Policy Observatory (2013). He was appointed as a lecturer at Swansea University in 2000 and since then has been visiting faculty at universities in the US (University of Wilmington), Australia (University of Sydney), Hungary (Central European University) and India (Jodhpur National University).

David has been researching aspects of drug policy for over 20 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. He has written two major research monographs - The United States and International Drug Control, 1909-1997 (Continuum, 2001) and International Drug Control: Consensus Fractured (Cambridge University Press, 2012) - a number of book chapters and published in a wide range of academic journals. David has given papers in Europe, North American and Australia and is a speaker or invited participant at civil society and government drug policy dialogues, colloquia and symposiums.

David was the founding Secretary of the International Society for the Study of Drug Policy (2006-7), and is currently on the Editorial Boards of The International Journal of Drug Policy and the International Journal on Human Rights and Drug Policy. He is also a member of the International Advisory Committee of the International Centre on Human Rights and Drug Policy, (University of Essex), a member of the International Advisory Board of the David F. Musto Center for Drug Policy Studies (Shanghai University), an Associate of the LSE IDEAS International Drug Policy Project and a technical advisor to the International Centre for Science in Drug Policy. David has collaborated with and produced policy reports for a range of drug policy organisations beyond academia and at present is an Associate of the International Drug Policy Consortium and a Research Fellow of the Transnational Institute’s Drugs and Democracy Programme.


  1. Bewley-Taylor, D. Drug Diplomacy: Russia promotes hard-line global drugs regime Jane's Intelligence Review October 2019 ihsmarkit.com/janes
  2. Bewley-Taylor, D., Jelsma, M. Drugs and Crime (Ed.), Oxford Handbook on UN Treaties Oxford University Press
  3. Bewley-Taylor, D., Fitzmaurice, M. The Evolution and Modernisation of Treaty Regimes: The Contrasting Cases of International Drug Control and Environmental Regulation International Community Law Review 20 5 403 435
  4. Bewley-Taylor, D., Nougier, M. Chapter 3 Measuring the ‘World Drug Problem’: 2019 and Beyond (Ed.), Collapse of the Global Order on Drugs: From UNGASS 2016 to Review 2019 65 83 Emerald Publishing
  5. Bewley-Taylor, D. Canada, cannabis legalization and uncertainty around the United Nations drug control conventions Addiction 113 7 1226 1228

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  • LAMM26 Darknet Crypto-Drug Markets: Challenges and Opportunities

    Although still relatively limited in scale, darknet crypto-drug markets (CDMs) are becoming increasingly significant in terms of both the changing shape of traditional illicit drug markets in a growing number of states and the concomitant challenges they pose to law enforcement authorities. At the same time, emerging research suggests that CDMs also possess several harm reduction characteristics. Drawing on a range of disciplinary approaches, this module will explore the emergence and proliferation of CDMs, how they intersect with extant illicit drug markets and the successes, or otherwise, or law enforcement interventions designed to counter them. Attention will also be given to the internal dynamics of CDMs and their potential to reduce a range of drug and policy related harms, including those relating to health and human security, within the current prohibition dominated policy environment.

  • PO-M67 The Policy Making Process

    This module introduces or reintroduces students to the policy-making process and the major strands of thinking and models for understanding the policy cycle over the last twenty years. It makes use of case studies and analytic perspectives in order to understand the complexities of managing policy and government at local, regional, national and supra-national levels within the context of changed and changing ideas about governance.


  • Access to medical opioids as a human right and the barriers and tensions on international drug control system. (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Dr Luca Trenta
  • Dealing with the Darknet: Crypto-Drug markets and the Global Drug Prohibition Regime, 2011-2018 (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Prof Alan Collins
  • Ethics and Genetic biobanks (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Prof Michael Mcnamee
  • Human Rights and Drug Policy in Colombia (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Dr Rick Lines
  • 'Afghanistan''''s Wicked Problems. Counterinsurgency and Counternarcotics in Afghanistan 2002-2011.' (awarded 2017)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Dr Stephen Mcveigh