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

Overview Of Work Packages

Our focus will initially be on developing a strategic model of the drugs market within the two transit chains of interest. These are the transit chains operating between North Africa and the EU, and between Central Asia and the EU.

A diagram illustrating the work packages and their interdependencies for the planned research activities of the LINKSCH project.

This initial strategic model will inform independent reviews of the unintended consequences of anti-narcotics policies with each transit chain respectively. Findings from these reviews will also be used to refine our initial model to produce a 'state of the art' strategic model of the two drug markets.

Finally, we will combine the strategic model with the analysis of each transit chain review to generate policy recommendations capable of minimising the unintended consequences of anti-drug policies in the future.

Work Package 2: Develop Strategic Model

Team:
CNRS; Thornley Mansfield Ltd; University of Coventry; University of Glasgow; Universität Potsdam; Visible Hand Research
Duration:
February 2012 - January 2013
Progress:
 100% Complete
Outcomes:
Project Meeting Reports; Ethics Advisory Report; Preliminary Model of Transit Chains; Strategic Model; Agenda for Interviewing

This work package will review contemporary knowledge regarding the operation of the drug market along the two transit chains of interest, namely North Africa-EU and Afghanistan-EU.

Our goal is to look beyond the relative effectiveness of prohibition in order to examine the types of hybrid political orders, or ‘unintended consequences’, produced by the existing legal regime along each transit chain. In this context, we believe that other markers of progress must be examined in place of/in addition to the effectiveness (or not) of prohibition. These include measurements of good governance, sustainable exploitation and development policies that successfully break into the existing loop between drug entrepreneurs, power holders and the citizenry.

Specific research tasks include developing a typology of how the two markets (heroin and marijuana) behave within the existing paradigms of economic markets and the impact of counter-narcotics policies upon those markets. Our review will examine both existing supply reduction policies (opium bans, crop eradication, economic development) and current demand-centred counter-narcotics policies.

Our key objective is to produce an intellectually robust conceptual model that is suitable for subsequent testing via field research into specifically ameliorating unintended consequences.

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Work Package 3: Review North Africa-EU Transit Chain

Team:
CNRS; Universität Potsdam; Visible Hand Research
Duration:
January 2013 - January 2014
Progress:
 100% Complete
Outcomes:
Project Meeting Report; Key Transit Chain Analysis - North Africa

This work package is dedicated to specific field research on the marijuana commodity chain in operation between the EU and Morocco. We will focus, in particular, on the ways that local societies manage to make drug enterprise activities and law enforcement responsive to the wider needs of society, state and development including how they relate to the array of EU concerns in the region.

Importantly, this work seeks to test and, if necessary, update the strategic model developed during work package 2 of how this market operates. Our research will also scrutinise the role of unintended consequences in this transit chain.

To achieve a fuller understanding of the dynamics and side effects of policies and control practices, we will also assess our findings against an exploration of other factors that have driven much marijuana production to fields, houses and greenhouses within Europe.

Since the marijuana market is both quite specific and specialised, social and cultural attitudes generated by government messaging will also be incorporated in our research to allow comparison with the specific study being conducted in Kazakhstan as part of work package 4.

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Work Package 4: Review Central Asia-EU Transit Chain

Team:
CNRS; SOAS; Thornley Mansfield Ltd; University of Coventry; University of Glasgow; Visible Hand Research
Duration:
January 2013 - January 2014
Progress:
 100% Complete
Outcomes:
Project Meeting Report; Key Transit Chain Analysis - Central Asia; Pilot Study Report - Turkey

This work package is dedicated to specific field research on the heroin and marijuana market between Central Asia and the EU. We will focus, in particular, on the impact of supply-side counter-narcotics policies and on how policy in the intervening transit countries shapes the issue at the point that it reaches the EU.

Importantly, this work seeks to test and, if necessary, update the strategic model developed during work package 2 of how this market operates. Our research will also scrutinise the role of unintended consequences in this transit chain.

The extensive fieldwork proposed for this work package includes periods spent in multiple countries. This will enable our team to conduct interviews with government officials, international stakeholders and other policy practitioners in order to gather data on the shaping and effectiveness of drug policy and social policy.

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Work Package 5: Generate Policy Recommendations

Team:
All Consortium Members
Duration:
January 2014 - January 2015
Progress:
 50% Complete
Outcomes:
Project Meeting Report; State of the Art Report on Unintended Consequences

This final work package will assimilate the strategic model of the drug markets produced during work package 2 with the field data gathered from the North Africa-EU and Central Asia-EU transit chains during work packages 3 and 4 respectively. At this important stage, we will bring fresh legal and political science perspectives to our research through the inclusion of our consortium members at Universität Potsdam and SOAS.

An essential part of this work package will be the project conference. As a public event, this conference is designed to be both the launch of the project’s mature strategic model of these two existing commodity chains in their geopolitical context, and a springboard for further study of drug policy and the reduction of unintended consequences.

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  • 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.