SOAS University of London

GCRF Drugs and (dis)order Research Project

Tough trade-offs: integrating drugs, development and peacebuilding


Date: 29 July 2020Time: 2:00 PM

Finishes: 29 July 2020Time: 3:00 PM

Venue: Virtual Event

Type of Event: Launch Event

Location: Online. Register on Eventbrite.

About: In light of the widely acknowledged shortcomings and social costs of the War on drugs, there’s a growing call for drugs, development and peacebuilding policies to be better integrated – to prioritise pro-poor development and align drug policy with the Sustainable Development Goals. But much work remains to be done. And the relationship between counter-narcotics, pro-poor development and peacebuilding is neither straightforward, nor necessarily complementary.

This event brings together actors from the drugs, development and peacebuilding fields to explore the tensions and trade-offs that exist between these different policy fields and the uneven distribution of costs and benefits of interventions.  

  • How can we rethink the relationship between drugs, development and violence in war-to-peace transitions?
  • What are the big trade-offs that need to be tackled?
  • How can we better incorporate the voices and perspectives of those involved in illicit economies into policy debates?

This event will launch the flagship publication of the Drugs & (dis)order research project ‘Voices from the borderlands 2020’, bringing to light experiences and perspectives of people involved in illicit drug economies in seven borderland communities in Colombia, Afghanistan and Myanmar. 


  • Orzala Nemat, Director, Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (Moderator)
  • David Keen, Professor of Conflict Studies, London School of Economics
  • Ann Fordham, Executive Director, International Drug Policy Consortium

Presenting voices from the borderlands:

  • Francisco Gutierrez, Professor, Universidad Nacional de Colombia
  • Jasmine Bhatia, Research Fellow, SOAS
  • TBC, Kachinland Research Centre