Building sustainable peacetime economies in the aftermath of war

Drugs & (dis)order is a Global Challenges Research Fund project generating new evidence on how to transform illicit drug economies into peace economies in Afghanistan, Colombia and Myanmar.

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February 14, 2022

Drugs & (dis)order: Findings and future directions

Watch the recordings from the Drugs & (dis)order's final event to learn about the findings from four years of research, and listen to discussions on policy and practice at the interface of illicit drugs, development and peacebuilding.

May 19, 2022

Myanmar datasets

Four open access datasets from the Myanmar research.

Journal Articles
May 17, 2022

Brokered rule: Militias, drugs and borderland governance in the Myanmar-China borderlands

This Journal of Contemporary Asia article discusses how the illegal drug trade has become integral to systems of brokered rule in northern Shan State, Myanmar.

Journal Articles
April 5, 2022

Critique of everyday narco-capitalism

This Third World Quarterly article discusses how capitalism alters life at the nexus of drug production, trade and consumption in the borderlands of Afghanistan, Colombia and Myanmar.

Comic, Multimedia
March 29, 2022

Entangled lives: conflict and illicit economies in Afghanistan

This animation tells the story of a smuggler on the border between Afghanistan and Iran.

Research Sites

The research programme will draw on empirical data from Afghanistan, Colombia and Myanmar


Afghanistan is estimated to produce 90% of heroin consumed in the UK. We're working in three borderland Afghanistan regions.

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Since Colombia's 2016 peace agreement, coca cultivation has expanded. We're working in four Colombian borderland sites.

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Myanmar is the second largest producer of illicit opium in the world. We're working in two Myanmar borderland states.

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Recent Tweets

We give a lot of thought to ensuring #openaccess articles; not so much to making research data accessible. Really proud that @Drugs_disorder is sharing data, thanks to our country teams & data manager @veerle_vv. The first datasets, from #Myanmar, here:

The Routledge Handbook of Smuggling, launched last week, includes our chapter on brokers in transnational trading networks in Nangarhar & Nimroz, Afghanistan. The book is Open Access (, and you can watch the launch event here 👇

New article: how has illegal drug trade become integral to brokerage arrangements between Myanmar Army & local militias in Shan state? Develops concept of 'coercive brokerage' #openaccess
@SOAS_Research @SOASDevelopment @fgutierrezsanin @nickthepope

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