Dr Gernot Klantschnig

BA (SOAS), MSc (LSE), DPhil (Oxford)

  • Senior Lecturer
  • Chair of the Board of Examiners
  • Exams Officer (Social Policy and Applied Social Science)

Visit Dr Gernot Klantschnig's profile on the York Research Database to see a full list of publications and browse his research related activities.


Areas of expertise

  • Global crimes
  • Drugs, drug trafficking and drug policy
  • Pharmaceutical markets and regulation
  • West Africa and China

Academic biography

I joined the University of York in 2014 after spending six years as Assistant and Associate Professor of International Studies at the University of Nottingham’s China campus. I completed my doctorate in Politics at Oxford with a thesis on Nigeria’s role in the international trade and control of illegal drugs. This research has been the basis for three books and several articles on the politics and history of drugs and crime, policing and healthcare in Africa. My research has also been supported by a variety of funding bodies, such as the British Academy, Chinese government and the World University Network. My current research and publications continue to focus on drugs and crime and their role in broader debates about trade, security, the state and health in West Africa, China and globally.

I have also worked as a consultant for the UK Home Office, Chinese governments, the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the think-tank Oxford Analytica, and as an expert witness in UK asylum cases. Until recently, I was the book reviews editor of the international peer-reviewed journal Social History of Alcohol and Drugs. I am also co-founder and co-chair of York’s research network on crime and criminal justice, CrimNet




Research interests

  • Global crimes and crime control
  • Drugs, drug trafficking and drug policy
  • Pharmaceutical markets and regulation
  • Policing
  • Politics of law, norms and ideas
  • West Africa and China

Current research

My current research and publications focus on drugs and crime and their role in broader debates about trade, security, the state and health in Africa, China and globally. At the moment, I work on three related research areas:

  1. Pharmaceuticals and their Regulation in the Global South. I have recently completed a British Academy-funded project on the politics of ‘fake prescription drugs’ in Nigeria and a Chinese government-funded project on China’s growing economic and political engagement with Africa in the pharmaceutical sector. I continue working and publishing in this area.
  2. Cannabis Africana. With colleagues in Bristol and Cape Town, I am also working towards a history of cannabis use, trade and control in Africa, which will culminate in a monograph for a reputable university press. As part of this work, I was awarded a World University Network researcher mobility award to conduct research on cannabis and crime in South Africa at the University of Cape Town.
  3. Politics of Crime and Drugs. I continue researching and publishing on the politics of illegal drugs, crime and policing in Africa and globally, and in 2017 I co-hosted an international workshop on the Policing of Illicit Flows in West Africa at York. Theoretically, my work on all three areas has been held together by a focus on the role of ideas and policy transfer, ‘organised crime’, as well as the state and the illicit in the Global South. 

PhD supervision

I am interested in supervising PhD theses in the following areas:

  • drugs, drug trafficking and drug policy
  • global crimes
  • pharmaceutical markets
  • criminal justice and policing in the Global South
  • theories of organised crime
  • crime policy transfer
  • crime and harm
  • the state in Africa. 


Recent Publications


  • G.Klantschnig, N. Carrier and C. Ambler, eds. (2014) Drugs in Africa: Histories and Ethnographies of Use, Trade and Control. New York: Palgrave.
  • G.Klantschnig (2013) Crime, Drugs and the State in Africa: The Nigerian Connection. Leiden: Brill/Republic of Letters.
  • G.Klantschnig and N. Carrier (2012) Africa and the War on Drugs. London: Zed, Royal African Society.

Journal articles

  • N. Carrier and G. Klantschnig (2017) Quasilegality: Khat, Cannabis and Africa’s Drug Laws. Third World Quarterly, in ‘Special Issue on Drug Policy in the Global South’.
  • G. Klantschnig, M. Dimova & H. Cross (2016) Africa and the Drugs Trade Revisited. Review of African Political Economy, 43 (148), 167-173.
  • N. Carrier & G. Klantschnig (2016) Illicit Livelihoods: Drug Crops and Development in Africa. Review of African Political Economy, 43 (148), 174-189.
  • G. Klantschnig (2016) The Politics of Drug Control in Nigeria: Exclusion, Repression and Obstacles to Policy Change. International Journal of Drug Policy, 30, 132-139.
  • N. Carrier & G. Klantschnig (2016) International Development and the Global Drugs Trade. In J. Grugel, & D. Hammett (eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of International Development, 399-413.G.Klantschnig (2015) The politics of drug control in Nigeria: exclusion, repression and obstacles to policy change. International Journal of Drug Policy. Author accepted manuscript (PDF , 323kb)
  • G. Klantschnig (2014) Negotiating profits and fakeness: the China-Nigeria trade in pharmaceuticals. In Politique africaine.
  • G. Klantschnig (2013) West Africa’s drug trade: reasons for concern and hope. In Addiction, 108, 1871–1872.
  • G. Klantschnig (2012) The politics of drug law enforcement in Nigeria: centralisation, repression and insecurity. In Politique africaine 128.
  • G. Klantschnig (2011) The Drug War in West Africa. In World Politics Review, October 2011.
  • G. Klantschnig (2009) The Politics of Law Enforcement in Nigeria: Lessons from the War on Drugs. In Journal of Modern African Studies 47 (4).
  • G. Klantschnig and H. Stoeckl (2008) Crime Control and Victim-Centred Approaches to Human Trafficking: A Response to Testai. In St Antony’s International Review 4 (1).
  • G. Klantschnig (2003) Oil, the Suez Canal and Sterling Reserves: Economic Factors Determining British Decision-Making during the 1967 Arab-Israeli Crisis. In Diplomacy and Statecraft 14 (3).

Book chapters

  • G. Klantschnig and N. Carrier (2018) ‘West African Militaries and Organised Crime’, in A. Goldsmith et al (eds.), Criminologies of the Military. Basingstoke: Palgrave.
  • G. Klantschnig (2014) Histories of Cannabis Use and Control in West Africa. In G.Klantschnig, N. Carrier and C. Ambler, eds., Drugs in Africa: Use, Trade and Control, New York: Palgrave.
  • G. Klantschnig, (2014) ‘Urspruenge der Drogenpolitik in Westafrika: Reformdiskurse ueber Cannabis sativa, 1927-67’, in Biopolitik und Sittlichkeitsreform: Kampagnen gegen Alkohol, Drogen und sexuelle Devianz in globalhistorischer Perspektive, Frankfurt: Campus Verlag.
  • G. Klantschnig (2011) The International Narcotics Control Board, Ghana and Nigeria. In Kleinman M. and Hawdon J. (Eds.) Encyclopedia of Drug Policy. London: Sage.
  • G. Klantschnig (2008) International Control Policies. In Korsmeyer, P. and Kranzler, H.R. (Eds.) Encyclopedia of Drugs, Alcohol & Addictive Behavior. 3rd edition. New York: Macmillan.

Gernot Klantschnig

Contact details

Dr Gernot Klantschnig
Senior Lecturer

Tel: 01904 32 1252

drugs in africa, 2014, edited by gernot klantschnig, neil carier and charles ambler

Klantschnig, G., Carrier, N. and Ambler, C. (eds.) (2014) Drugs in Africa: Histories and ethnographies of use, trade and control. Palgrave