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Book launch throws spotlight on African drugs trade

Posted on 20 January 2015

A York academic will launch a book about the illegal drugs trade in West Africa this week.

Drugs in Africa: Histories and Ethnographies of Use, Trade and Control, co-edited by Dr Gernot Klantschnig, Dr Neil Carrier, and Professor Charles Ambler. Published by Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.

Drugs in Africa: Histories and Ethnographies of Use, Trade and Control, is co-edited by Dr Gernot Klantschnig, a Senior Lecturer at the University of York’s Department of Social Policy and Social Work.

A feature of the University of Oxford’s African Studies Seminar in the African Studies Centre, the event will take place on 22 January in the Pavilion Room, St Antony’s College, Oxford, from 5pm. Case studies from Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo and Kenya will be presented by Dr Klantschnig, alongside Dr Ann Laudati, from the University of Bristol, and Dr Neil Carrier from the University of Oxford.

Dr Klantschnig said: “Recently emerging as a focus of the global war on drugs, West Africa is a growing transit point for cocaine and heroin, and progressively plays a part in cannabis and prescription drug commerce. Drugs are increasingly tied to broader economic, health and political concerns including unemployment, criminality, HIV infection and the formation of so-called narco-states.

“This book is the first to address the burgeoning interest in drugs among scholars, policymakers and the general public through an Africa-wide analysis. Discussing what role West Africa plays in the global trade in illegal drugs, as well as the local implications of drugs and drug policy, it presents the deeper historical contexts in which drug use and trade takes place, and the spread and impact of drugs on African societies.”

Dr Klantschnig joined the University of York in 2014, and specialises in drug crime and its role in trade, security and health in Africa, China and globally. He has previously worked as a consultant for the UK Home Office, Chinese governments, the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and as an expert witness in UK asylum cases.

He is currently completing a Chinese government-funded project on the trade and control of pharmaceutical drugs between China and West Africa, and a British Academy-funded project on the politics of fake prescription drugs in Nigeria.

Further information:

  • Drugs in Africa: Histories and Ethnographies of Use, Trade and Control, is co-edited by Dr Gernot Klantschnig, University of York, Dr Neil Carrier, University of Oxford, and Professor Charles Ambler, University of Texas, USA. It is published byPalgrave Macmillan, 2014.
  • For further information about the University of York’s Department of Social Policy and Social Work, visit: http://www.york.ac.uk/spsw/
  • For more information about the University of Oxford’s African Studies Centre and their programme of events, visit:  http://www.africanstudies.ox.ac.uk/

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