An image of the LINKSCH project title, which is 'Grasping the chains in the link: Understanding the unintended consequences of international counter-narcotics measures for the EU'.

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Project Announcement

Project Overview

Since the end of the Cold War, there has been an explosion in the international drugs market. The need to reform existing international counter-narcotics policies is widely accepted. However, the impact of these policies in transit chain countries located between source and market is poorly understood. This lack of understanding remains an obstacle to eliminating the unintended consequences of current policies.

A diagram illustrating the different research strands of the LINKSCH project in terms of illicit drug markets, unintended consequences, drug policy, and the European Union.

The LINKSCH project offers a comparative study of two major drug markets, cannabis and heroin, through the prism of the transit chains operating between Central Asia and the EU and those between North Africa and the EU. In particular, the project will develop a strategic model of how these two markets operate, conduct interviews with counter-narcotics practitioners, and carry out field research in both source and transit chain countries.

By building on the results of the study, the aim is to produce policy recommendations for a more comprehensive set of counter-narcotics policies that are able to minimise the proliferation of unintended consequences.

Conference Announcement

We will present the results of our research at a conference in Brussels in June 2014.

Split over two days, the programme includes keynote talks by Prof Julia Buxton and Mr Patrick Penninckx, a range of panel sessions and a round table discussion.

View the latest conference news.

A photograph showing military support during Operation Herrick targeting drug production.

Military support during Operation Herrick targeting drug production in Afghanistan
Credit public sector information available under the Open Government Licence, www.defenceimagery.mod.uk

Consortium Members

Set up under the European Commission's Seventh Framework Programme of Research, our project team unites researchers from France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

Dr Alex Marshall from the University of Glasgow takes on the role of the Principal Investigator for the LINKSCH project.


Tour the partners in the LINKSCH consortium.
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique

Dr Pierre-Arnaud Chouvy, a specialist in the geopolitics of illicit drugs, is based at the French National Scientific Research Centre in Paris.
School of Oriental and African Studies

Prof Jonathan Goodhand, a professor at SOAS in the University of London, has extensive experience investigating the role of NGOs and international aid.
Thornley Mansfield Ltd

Dr David Mansfield, an independent consultant based in Plymouth, has extensive experience of fieldwork in a number of drug-producing countries.
University of Coventry

Eva Kipnis and Dr Lara Spiteri-Cornish are both based at Coventry University Business School contributing specialist knowledge of consumer engagement in risky behaviours.
University of Glasgow

Dr Alex Marshall, a senior lecturer in history, is the principal investigator for the project.
Universität Potsdam

Prof Robin Geiß is an associate professor of law at Potsdam with previous experience at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
Visible Hand Research

Dr Hans T. van der Veen is based in Amsterdam, and has extensive experience in studies of international drugs policy.

The breadth of expertise in our consortium is reflected in the cross-disciplinary nature of the team, which combines geographers, legal specialists, marketing specialists and political scientists. Our team also draws on a detailed knowledge of the issues surrounding trafficking and counter-narcotics policy that has been built through extensive prior fieldwork in multiple regions including Central Asia and North Africa.

  • University of Glasgow logo for use in navigating to the university's homepage
  • Logo for CNRS, the French national research centre in Paris, for use in navigating to the research centre's French-language homepage
  • University of Coventry logo for use in navigating to the university's homepage
  • University of Coventry Business School logo for use in navigating to the school's homepage
  • University of Potsdam logo for use in navigating to the university's German-language homepage
  • Logo for SOAS, the School of African and Oriental Studies at the University of London, for use in navigating to the school's homepage
  • Logo for Visible Hand Research, for information only and not for use in navigating to the consultancy's homepage since no website is currently available

This project has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 285073.

Flag of the European Union.