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Drugs and (dis)order

Drugs and (dis)order: building sustainable peacetime economies in the aftermath of war

I am Co-Investigator on the GCRF funded project Drugs and (Dis)order: Building Sustainable Peacetime Economies in the Aftermath of War. This is a large, multi-partner project led by Professor Jonathan Goodhand (SOAS University of London). It aims to improve understanding of how illicit drug economies are implicated in peacebuilding and development in three of the most significant drug-producing countries in the world: Colombia, Afghanistan and Myanmar.

The project runs from 2018-22 and involves a wide range of UK and international partners. I am involved mainly in the Myanmar Country Working Group, which is led by Dr Patrick Meehan (SOAS University of London). We work in Myanmar with the Kachinland Research Centre based in Myitkyina, Kachin State, and the Shan Herald Agency for News (SHAN), which recently relocated from Chiang Mai in Thailand to Taunggyi, Shan State. Our collective work focuses on a number of core themes, of which the impact of youth on local drug use behaviours, the impact on households of the wider drug-related economy, and the role of militias, are the most critical. Our work on the everyday impacts of drug economies on households and young people are shaped by a life story and oral history approach. I also support the wider project by providing training on Life Story research methods.

Early findings from the research can be found in our downloadable report Voices from the Borderlands.

Contact details


E-profile: Prof. Mandy Sadan (


Poster summarising the main outputs from the Drugs and (dis)order project

Image description: collage-style poster of the main project outputs. On the left are 4 screnshots from the project website, in the centre is the front cover of the 'Voices from the borderlands' 2020 report, and dotted around the right and bottom are maps, diagrams, and short information cards about Columbia, Myanmar, and Afghanistan, the three countrie at the heart of the project.

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