Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research

Making sense of the social world



I am Reader in Criminology at the University of Kent’s School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research.

I run my own third year optional undergraduate module and MA module in the field of illegal drugs.  The aim is to explore both the cultural context of drug taking and the political controls that have been placed upon this activity from an international perspective.  I supervise undergraduates and postgraduates in these areas.

My research is mainly based around the intricacies of drug policy at the European level debating whether or not drug policy in Europe should become more harmonised and critiquing policy options implemented at the European level.  I have also done some recent work in cannabis markets in the UK, internet research methods and older cannabis users.

My most recent work is in the field of policy responses to new psychoactive substances.

Contact Information


Room CNE 112
Cornwallis North East
University of Kent
Kent CT2 7NF

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Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository

Chatwin, C. et al. (2017). New drugs, new directions? Research priorities for new psychoactive substances and human enhancement drugs. International Journal of Drug Policy [Online] 40:1-5. Available at:
Chatwin, C. (2016). Assessing the 'added value' of European policy on new psychoactive substances. International Journal of Drug Policy [Online] 40:111-116. Available at:
Chatwin, C. (2016). Mixed messages from Europe on Drug Policy Reform: the cases of Sweden and the Netherlands. Journal of Drug Policy Analysis [Online]. Available at:
Chatwin, C. (2015). UNGASS 2016: Insights from Europe on the development of global cannabis policy and the need for reform of the global drug policy regime. The International Journal of Drug Policy [Online] 49:80-85. Available at:
Chatwin, C. and Potter, G. (2014). Blurred Boundaries: the artificial distinction between 'use' and 'supply' in the UK cannabis market. Contemporary Drug Problems [Online] 41:536-550. Available at:
O'Brien, K. et al. (2014). New Psychoactive Substances and British Drug Policy: a view from the cyber psychonauts. Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy [Online]:1-7. Available at:
Chatwin, C. and Porteous, D. (2013). Insiders? the Experiences and Perspectives of Long-Term, Regular Cannabis Users. Contemporary Drug Problems [Online] 40:235-257. Available at:
Chatwin, C. (2013). A critical evaluation of the European drug strategy: Has it brought added value to drug policy making at the national level? International Journal of Drug Policy [Online] 24:251-256. Available at:
Chatwin, C. (2012). What kind of union? Soft convergence - or top down harmonization. Drugs and Alcohol Today [Online] 12:20-26. Available at:
Potter, G. and Chatwin, C. (2012). The problem with "skunk". Drugs and Alcohol Today [Online] 12:232-240. Available at:
Chatwin, C. (2010). User Involvement in the illegal drugs field: what can Britain learn from European experiences? Safer Communities [Online] 9:51-60. Available at:
Chatwin, C. (2010). Have recent evolutions in European governance brought harmonisation in the field of illicit drugs any closer? Drugs and Alcohol Today [Online] 10:26-32. Available at:
Chatwin, C. (2007). Multi-level governance: The way forward for European illicit drug policy? International Journal of Drug Policy [Online] 18:494-502. Available at:
Chatwin, C. (2004). The Effects of EU Enlargement on European Drug Policy. Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy [Online] 11:437-448. Available at:
Chatwin, C. (2003). Drug Policy Developments within the European Union: the destabilizing effects of Dutch and Swedish drug policies. British Journal of Criminology [Online] 43:567-582. Available at:
Chatwin, C. (2011). Drug Policy Harmonization and the European Union. [Online]. Palgrave Macmillan. Available at:
Book section
Chatwin, C. (2017). Pathways to Integration of European Drug Policy. in: Colson, R. and Bergeron, H. eds. European Drug Policies: The Ways of Reform. Abingdon & New York: Routledge, pp. 27-39. Available at:
Chatwin, C. (2016). Five Steps Towards a More Effective Global Drug Policy. in: Matthews, R. ed. What is to be done about crime and punishment: towards a public criminology. London: Palgrave Macmillan. Available at:
Chatwin, C. (2014). New psychoactive substances: new European policy landscapes. in: Potter, G. R., Wouters, M. and Fountain, J. eds. Change and Continuity: researching evolving drug landscapes in Europe. PABST publications.
Potter, G. and Chatwin, C. (2011). Researching cannabis markets online: some lessons from the virtual field. in: Fountain, J., Frank, V. A. and Korf, D. J. eds. Markets, methods and messages: Dynamics in European drug research. PABST SCIENCE PUBLISHERS.
Chatwin, C. (2008). Parental use of alcohol and illicit drugs: a critical review of recent research (Chapter 3). in: Kennison, P. and Goodman, A. eds. Children as Victims. SAGE Publications Ltd.
Edited journal
Chatwin, C. et al. eds. (2017). Special issue: New Psychoactive Substances and Human Enhancement Drugs. International Journal of Drug Policy [Online] 40:1-122. Available at:
Chatwin, C., Blackman, S. and O'Brien, K. (2018). Editorial: Intersections in (new) drug research. Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy.
Potter, G. and Chatwin, C. (2017). Not particularly special: critiquing 'NPS' as a category of drugs. Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy [Online]:1-8. Available at:
Total publications in KAR: 24 [See all in KAR]
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Research Interests

To date, the focus of my research has been the intricacies of drug policy at the European level.  I began my interest in this area with a PhD investigating the different paradigms of drug policy operating in Europe and exploring the possibility of an integrated European drug policy. 

Over the last ten years I have continued in this vein, publishing articles on the stability of drug policy within Europe, the role of the new European member states in defining drug policy and the relevance of multi-level governance as a policy strategy for the field of illicit drugs. Most recently I have published a research monograph in this area with Palgrave McMillan (2011) entitled ‘Drug Policy Harmonization and the European Union’ and an article in the International Journal of Drug Policy (2013) critiquing the outgoing European Union strategy on drugs.  In 2011 I also worked as the special advisor to the Home Affairs sub-committee of the House of Lords European Select Committee during their investigation into European drug policy.

More recently, I have been developing interests in additional areas connected to the drugs field.  I have conducted several small scale internet research studies and have published in the field of internet research methods.  The research studies explored subcultural elements of the psytrance scene, UK cannabis markets and the experiences of older cannabis users. back to top

Telephone: +44(0)1227 823072 Fax: +44(0)1227 827005 or email us

SSPSSR, Faculty of Social Sciences, Cornwallis North East, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent CT2 7NF

Last Updated: 09/10/2017