The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T +44 (0)1227 764000
Dr Axel Klein
Lecturer in Study of Addictive Behaviour
School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
- 01227 827466
C1 Darwin College
University of Kent,
Canterbury, Kent CT27PD
I am a Lecturer in the Anthropology of Conflict, Criminal Justice and Policy at the University of Kent’s School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research.
I have a background in African studies and conducted extensive fieldwork in a fishing village in Nigeria. Since then my interests have diversified, and have taken me through a series of encounters into the field of drug and alcohol studies. How people use mind altering substances and how they produce and distribute them are questions I have pursued in a number of projects.
More puzzling still has been the question of policy – the legislative and political framework that has been set up in the UK and internationally to control these aspects of human behaviour. In my work I often cross from academia to practice, working with both the non-governmental and statutory sector, in this country and abroad.
As an “expert” I have had the opportunity of working with UN and EU agencies in more than 30 countries including Afghanistan, Cambodia and Jamaica.
Following the trajectory of drug offenders has led me into the question of penal regimes, offender management and alternative punishments. I have worked in prisons, on restorative justice programmes, and have both researched and managed community punishment projects.
My initial fieldwork took place among migrant communities. These Ewe fishermen were part of a coastal diaspora that was based on their sea faring and fishing skills, and the growth urban centres in West Africa.
Since then, my interest in migration has evolved into a study of the criminalisation of migration and the creation of new populations that are managed and controlled by the state. The way migrants use networks and cultural capital to facilitate their integration, and the different methods and technologies employed to exclude them inform my current work.
Analysis of conflict and the process of conflict resolution in Africa have been a continuous topic of interest. I have developed this in two different directions, looking at the way conflict is carried out and resolved within organisations and businesses on the one hand, and the methods used for framing and defining conflict at macro level. I have recently become involved in looking at piracy by comparing the situation in Somalia and Nigeria in the context of development and moral economy.
I joined the University of Kent in 2005 from DrugScope where I was Director of the International Unit for two years.
I started my career as a Senior Research Officer for the Institute for African Alternatives and became a Lecturer in Social Anthropology at the University of Kent. In 1999, I was a Research Fellow at the School of Oriental and African Studies and moved the following year to the European Commission as a Drug Control Officer, Caribbean. In 2001, I became Head of Research at Drugscope and then in 2002, Head of UK Focal Point for the EU Monitoring Centre on Drugs and Drug Addiction.
My PhD was titled “Fishing without formality: an economic anthropology of the Ewe along the Lagos – Badagry Seabeach” and was completed at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. I gained my BA in Social Anthropology at the School of Oriental and African Studies.
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My research interests include:
- Drugs – patterns of use, cultures of consumption, the production and distribution of drugs, drug policy (focus on khat and cannabis).
- Penal reform – alternatives to incarceration, impact and efficacy of community sentencing and restorative justice.
- Piracy/Conflict – moral economy approaches to conflict analysis and securitization of development.
- Conflict in the workplace – ways of diagnosis and conflict settlement, especially bullying.
- 2008 – 2012: Training Services: training and pilot projects for drug treatment and HIV prevention in prisons in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Morocco (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime funded £52,317).
- 2012 – 2012: Evaluation of Victim Offender Mediation in Medway.
- 2010 – 2012: Integration of immigration detainees in the community.
If you have a proposal in the above areas and want to study at the University of Kent, please contact me to discuss further. Current research students are working on:
- “A Qualitative Study: Black Foreign National Women in UK Prisons”
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I convene and teach on courses:
- SO 628 Drugs and Culture
- SO 654 Drugs and Crime
- SO 681 Restorative Justice
- KI524 Homelessness & Pathways to Social Inclusion
- KI511 Psychological and Biological Aspects of Dependency
- KI 531 Drugs and the Criminal Justice system
- KI536 Research Methods.
I’ve taught the following modules: African Societies, Anthropology of Development, ‘The raw and the cooked’ Anthropology of Food.
- The Drug Khat Thu, 26 Jan 2012, BBC Radio 4
- Drugs policy: Let the qat out of the ban. A debate over outlawing a herbal high is really about multiculturalism
- The Economist Mar 3rd 2012
- BBC Radio Scotland, Newsweek, 29/05/2010 interviewed by Derek Bateman on the situation in Jamaica
- ‘Politics and the Media’ programme on the Islam Channel, studio discussion on khat, 22/03/1010
- Colourful RadioBreakfast Show, interviewed by Henry Bonsu on Mephedrone deaths, 18/03/2010
- BBC World Service – interviewed by Mark Whitaker on cocaine seizures on cruise ships, ‘World Today’ , 30/04/2009
- ’Iconoclasts’ on BBC Radio 4 with Edward Stourton, 29/11/2008 “Illegal Drugs can be good for you”
- The Independent, 01/03/2007 Dr Axel Klein: 'The message on drugs now is that the law is an ass' Interview by Nick Jackson
- ‘Thinking Allowed’ Radion 4 with Laurie Taylor , 13/12/2006
- Royal AnthropoIogical Institute.
- Independent evaluator for the EU Research Executive Agency.
- Member of the International Association of Addiction Journal Editors.
- Editor of Drugs and Alcohol Today.
- Editorial board of Safer Communities, African Journal of Drug and Alcohol Studies.
- For the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs
- Consultant on drug and criminal justice issues for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, European Commission, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, African Union, CARICOM and GIZ.
- Co-organised the European Science Foundation funded conference on khat in 2009.
- Advisor to the Department for International Development on alternatives to incarceration for petty offenders in the Eastern Caribbean.
- Worked with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime on drug treatment in prison settings in the Middle East and North Africa.
Dr Axel Klein on Post Prohibition Scenariosback to top