Drugs and Organized Crime Project (2012-13)

This project aimed to explore alternative options to the drug and organized crime policy challenge and provide a distinctive contribution to the debate.

Through the establishment of a broad and varied network of senior individuals and organizations involved in the field, the project aimed to develop a comprehensive assessment of potential policy responses.

It sought to highlight the local, regional and international dimensions of the topic and how they relate to one another for government strategies.

Moreover, the project explored the overlap and importance of areas including public health, education, international law and civil society efforts in informing a comprehensive and more effective approach to drugs policy.


Drawing on the independent and impartial forum of Chatham House, practitioners, officials, academics and policymakers were asked to think innovatively about what policymakers should do to meet the drugs and crime policy challenge and how any responses relate to the local, national, regional and international level.

Through events and publications it aimed to raise the prominence of drugs and organized crime within the international policy and mainstream security agenda. 

Independent Advisory Panel

The project was assisted by an Independent Advisory Panel of experts from different related fields. Members included: 

  • Damon Barrett, Deputy Director, Harm Reduction International; and Director, International Centre on Human Rights and Drugs Policy
  • Bob Baxter, Associate Fellow, International Security, Chatham House
  • Vanda Felbab-Brown, Fellow, Brookings, USA
  • Roger Golland, Director, Viasol Limited 
  • William Hughes, Former Director, Serious Organized Crime Agency (SOCA); Advisory Board Member, Centre for Criminal Law and Justice, Durham University
  • Danny Kushlick, Founder and Head of External Affairs, Transform
  • David Livingstone, Associate Fellow, International Security, Chatham House
  • Ambassador Eduardo Medina Mora, Mexican Ambassador to the United Kingdom
  • Andrés Rozental, Senior Fellow, Brookings, USA

Modernising Drug Law Enforcement

Led by the International Drug Policy Consortium, with the participation of Chatham House and the International Institute for Strategic Studies, the project aimed to collate and refine theoretical material and examples of new approaches to drug law enforcement, as well as to promote debate amongst law enforcement leaders on the implications for future strategies.

The project, ran from August 2012 until November 2013, and comprised of a publication series; network development; and a seminar series with senior law enforcement officials and experts.