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Dr Martin Elvins is a senior lecturer in Politics and International Relations and has been at Dundee since September 2003.

His current undergraduate teaching contributions are a co-lecturing role on our first year introductory module 'Politics and Public Policy' and convenorship of two level 4 modules: 'Surveillance in a Post-9/11 World' and (new for 2011-12) ‘The Global Politics of Illegal Drugs'.

In the broadest sense his research interests (and in turn his more specialist teaching) focuses on public policy decision-making that relates to protection of citizens from some form of harm (actual or perceived). His main area of interest is the global drugs problem and policies that relate to it in some way. He also has a particular interest in law enforcement strategies at both national and transnational levels. This is reflected in his association with the work of the Scottish Institute for Policing Research (SIPR). He is currently engaged in a 2-year research study (2010-11) funded by the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (ACPOS). The project entails collaboration with colleagues from the University of Dundee School of Nursing and Midwifery to evaluate an innovative partnership between Tayside Police and NHS Tayside to deliver nurse-led healthcare in police custody settings.

In 2009 he completed fieldwork (spanning seven countries) for a research project entitled 'UK and Dutch counter-drugs policies in the Caribbean: a comparative analysis'. This project was made possible through the generous support of the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC): ESRC Small Grant Award RES-000-22-2411. Details of the award are available on the ESRC website.


The main focus of his research interests is policy responses to illegal drugs. He is particularly interested in international cooperation in response to drug trafficking and law enforcement strategies that seek to combat cross-border criminal activity. His main current project (detailed above) examines these matters through comparison of UK and Dutch counter-drugs policies in the Caribbean region.

Another aspect of his research is concerned with public policy in relation to the night-time economy, particularly the policing of public space. He has previously conducted research on behalf of the Home Office and for Westminster City Council and retains an ongoing interest in this field (also reflected in his co-supervision of a PhD candidate working in this field).

Suggested areas for postgraduate supervision

Dr Elvins would be very happy to hear from anyone interested in working in the following broad areas:

  • The Contemporary Political Economy of the International Drugs Trade
  • Policing Drugs / Drug Trafficking in the 21st century
  • Transnational Organised Crime: nature and response
  • Public policy (especially policing) and the night-time economy
  • Contemporary policing
View full research profile and publications



  • Level 1: Politics and Public Policy
  • Level 4: Surveillance in a Post-9/11 World
  • Level 4: The Global Politics of Illegal Drugs

Postgraduate teaching