SOAS University of London

Department of Development Studies

Dr Patrick Meehan

BA (Oxford) History, MSC & PhD(SOAS) Development Studies
  • Teaching
  • Expertise
  • Publications


Patrick Meehan
Department of Development Studies

Senior Teaching Fellow in 2016/17

Dr Patrick Meehan
Email address:
0207 898 4521
SOAS University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Russell Square: College Buildings
Office No:


My research explores the political economy of violence, conflict and development, and engages
specifically with the relationship between illicit economies and processes of state-building and
peace-building in borderland and frontier regions with a primary focus on Myanmar’s borderlands
with China. I completed my PhD on this subject in the Department of Development Studies at SOAS
in 2016 and I am now a Co-Investigator on a £7 million research project entitled 'Drugs and
(dis)order: Building sustainable peacetime economies in the aftermath of war’, which focuses on
Afghanistan, Colombia and Myanmar.



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Available for
Regional Expertise
  • South East Asia
Country Expertise
  • Burma/Myanmar



Meehan, Patrick and Sadan, Mandy and Aung Hla, Sai and Kham Phu, Sai and Muai Oo, Nang (2022) 'Young people’s everyday pathways into drug harms in Shan State, Myanmar'. Third World Quarterly, pp 1-19. [Forthcoming]

Meehan, Patrick and Dan, Seng Lawn (2022) 'Brokered Rule: Militias, Drugs, and Borderland Governance in the Myanmar-China Borderlands'. Journal of Contemporary Asia, pp 1-23. [Forthcoming]

Meehan, Patrick (2022) '"Ploughing the land five times": Opium and agrarian change in the ceasefire landscapes of south-western Shan State, Myanmar'. Journal of Agrarian Change, (22) 2, pp 254-277.

Dan, Seng Lawn and Maran, Ja Htoi Pan and Sadan, Mandy and Meehan, Patrick and Goodhand, Jonathan (2021) 'The Pat Jasan drug eradication social movement in Northern Myanmar. Part one: Origins & reactions'. International Journal of Drug Policy, (89) 103181.

Goodhand, Jonathan and Meehan, Patrick and Bhatia, Jasmine and Ghiabi, Maziyar and Gutierrez Sanin, Francisco (2021) 'Critical policy frontiers: The drugs-development-peacebuilding trilemma'. International Journal of Drug Policy, (89) 103115.

Meehan, Patrick (2021) 'Precarity, poverty and poppy: Encountering development in the uplands of Shan State, Myanmar'. International Journal of Drug Policy, (89) 103064.

Meehan, Patrick and Goodhand, Jonathan (2018) 'Spatialising Political Settlements'. Accord, (4), pp 14-19.

Meehan, Patrick (2018) 'Peacebuilding Amidst War in Northern Myanmar'. Accord: An international review of peace initiatives, (4), pp 34-41.

Meehan, Patrick (2015) 'Fortifying or fragmenting the state? The political economy of the drug trade in Shan State, Myanmar, 1988-2012'. Critical Asian Studies, (47) 2, pp 253-282.

Meehan, Patrick (2011) 'Drugs, insurgency and statebuilding in Burma: Why the drugs trade is central to Burma’s changing political order'. Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, (42) 3, pp 376-404.

Book Chapters

Meehan, Patrick (2022) 'Difficult Development Trade-Offs Amidst 'Transition': Exploring Power and Politics in Post-2010 Myanmar'. In: Yamahata, Chosein and Anderson, Bobby, (eds.), Demystifying Myanmar's Transition and Political Crisis. Singapore: Palgrave Macmillan, pp 231-253.

Meehan, Patrick and Aung Hla, Sai and Kham Phu, Sai (2021) 'Development Zones in Conflict-Affected Borderlands: The Case of Muse, Northern Shan State, Myanmar'. In: Chettri, Mona and Eilenberg, Michael, (eds.), Development Zones in Asian Borderlands. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.

Lertchavalitsakul, Busarin and Meehan, Patrick (2020) 'Myanmar’s Contested Borderlands: Uneven Development and Ongoing Armed Conflict'. In: Simpson, Adam and Farrelly, Nicholas, (eds.), Myanmar : Politics, Economy and Society. London: Routledge.

Meehan, Patrick and Sadan, Mandy (2017) 'Borderlands'. In: Simpson, Adam and Farrelly, Nicholas and Holliday, Ian, (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Contemporary Myanmar. Abingdon: Routledge, pp 83-91.

Meehan, Patrick (2016) 'The continuation of war by other means: An anatomy of the Palaung ceasefire in northern Shan State'. In: Sadan, Mandy, (ed.), War and Peace in the Borderlands of Myanmar: The Kachin Ceasefire, 1994–2011. Copenhagen: NIAS Press.

Meehan, Patrick (2015) 'Drugs, local politics and the subversion of global counter-narcotics ideology in Burma’s eastern borderlands, 1988-2012'. In: Charnoz, Olivier, (ed.), Local Politics, Global Impacts: Steps to a Multi-Disciplinary Analysis of Scales. Farnham, UK: Ashgate, pp 79-104.

Monographs and Working Papers

Thomson, Nicholas and Meehan, Patrick (2021) Understanding the drugs policy landscape in Myanmar: How drugs policies and programmes intersect with conflict, peace, health and development. London, UK: SOAS University of London.

Goodhand, Jonathan and Meehan, Patrick and Thomson, Frances and Ghiabi, Maziyar and Ball, Louise (2020) Voices from the borderlands 2020: Illicit drugs, development and peacebuilding. London: Drugs and (Dis)Order.

Meehan, Patrick (2018) What are the key factors that affect the securing and sustaining of an initial deal to reduce levels of armed conflict?: A Literature Review. London: UK Government Stabilisation Unit.

Cheng, Christine and Goodhand, Jonathan and Meehan, Patrick (2018) Synthesis Paper: Securing and Sustaining Elite Bargains that Reduce Violent Conflict. London: UK Government Stabilisation Unit.

Meehan, Patrick and Plonski, Sharri (2017) Brokering the margins: A review of concepts and methods. SOAS; Bath: Borderlands, Brokers and Peacebuilding in Sri Lanka and Nepal: War to Peace Transitions viewed from the margins Working Paper No.1.

Goodhand, Jonathan and Meehan, Patrick and Pérez Niño, Helena (2014) Drugs, (dis)order and agrarian change: the political economy of drugs and its relevance to international drug policy. NOREF Occasional Publication.

Book Reviews

Meehan, Patrick (2017) 'A state built on sand: How opium undermined Afghanistan, David Mansfield. London: C. Hurst & Co.2016. Pp. xviii + 352. £25 (pb). ISBN: 978‐1‐84904‐568‐1'. Journal of Agrarian Change, (17) 4, pp 789-792.


Meehan, Patrick (2021) 'Myanmar: Why peace remains elusive'.


Sadan, Mandy and Meehan, Patrick and Goodhand, Jonathan (2022) 'Drugs and (dis)order key informant interview translations in Kachin state, Myanmar, 2018-2019'. [Unpublished]

Opinion Pieces / Media / Blogs

Goodhand, Jonathan and Meehan, Patrick (2021) Drugs ‘trilemma’: how to halt the deadly trade while still ensuring development and peace.


Meehan, Patrick (2017) 'Opium and 'Development' in Myanmar: The political economy of a resurgent crop' T.note, 5.

Meehan, Patrick (2016) 'How the military benefits from Myanmar’s growing opium economy' East Asia Forum.


This list was last generated on Sunday, 25th September 2022, 00:25 Europe/London.