Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Peter Andreas

Peter Andreas

John Hay Professor of International Studies and Political Science


Peter Andreas is the John Hay Professor of International Studies. He joined the Institute in the fall of 2001, and holds a joint appointment with the Department of Political Science.

Previously, Andreas was an academy scholar at Harvard University, a research fellow at the Brookings Institution, and an SSRC-MacArthur Foundation Fellow on International Peace and Security. He holds an MA and PhD in government from Cornell University and a BA in political science from Swarthmore College.

Andreas is the author, co-author, or co-editor of ten books. These include, Smuggler Nation: How Illicit Trade Made America (Oxford University Press, 2013, selected by Amazon and by Foreign Affairs as one of the best books of the year), Blue Helmets and Black Markets: The Business of Survival in the Siege of Sarajevo (Cornell University Press, 2008); Policing the Globe: Criminalization and Crime Control in International Relations (Oxford University Press, 2006); Border Games: Policing the U.S.-Mexico Divide (Cornell University Press, 2000, second edition 2009); and Sex, Drugs, and Body Counts: The Politics of Numbers in Global Crime and Conflict (Cornell University Press, 2010).  He has also written a childhood memoir, Rebel Mother: My childhood Chasing the Revolution(Simon & Schuster, 2017). His new book project, Killer High: A History of War in Six Drugs (under contract with Oxford University Press), explores the relationship between warfare and mind altering substances, from ancient times to the present. 

Andreas has also written for a wide range of scholarly and policy publications, including International Security,International Studies QuarterlyReview of International Political EconomyForeign AffairsForeign PolicyThe New RepublicHarper's, Slate, andThe Nation. Other writings include congressional testimonies and op-eds in major newspapers, such as the Washington Post, Boston Globe, and The Guardian.


The clandestine dimensions of globalization involve illicit cross-border flows of people, goods, money and information. This project critically examines the interaction between states and illicit flows across time, place, and commodity, focusing especially on the practice and politics of government policing efforts. The project, which bridges the study of security, political economy, and cross-border crime, involves a wide range of outputs and activities: books and edited volumes, scholarly and policy articles, conferences, and courses.

This includes books such as Smuggler Nation: How Illicit Trade Made America (Oxford University Press, 2013); Blue Helmets and Black Markets: The Business of Survival in the Siege of Sarajevo (Cornell University Press, 2008); Policing the Globe: Criminalization and Crime Control in International Relations (paperback edition, Oxford University Press, 2008); Border Games: Policing the U.S.-Mexico Divide (second edition, Cornell University Press, 2009); and Sex, Drugs, and Body Counts: The Politics of Numbers in Global Crime and Conflict (Cornell University Press, 2010).

Other activities include recent policy and scholarly articles in such publications as Foreign Affairs and Political Science Quarterly; chapter contributions to edited volumes; co-editing a special issue of the interdisciplinary journal Crime, Law & Social Change; organizing a conference (focusing on the relationship between violence and illicit markets) hosted and sponsored by the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation; op-eds in media outlets such as the Washington Post, Boston Globe, and Bloomberg.com; and lectures in the United States, Canada, and Europe. The teaching component includes a lecture course on "The Politics of the Illicit Global Economy" a senior research seminar on "Contraband Capitalism: States and Illegal Markets," and a first-year seminar on "Drug War Politics."

Current Projects

Illicit Globalization


“International Politics and the Illicit Global Economy,” Perspectives on Politics (Fall, 2015), pp. 782-788.

“Illicit Americas: Historical Dynamics of Smuggling in U.S. Relations with its Neighbors,” in Jaskowski, Sotomayor, and Trinkunas, eds, American Crossings: Border Politics in the Western Hemisphere, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015.

“The Global Illicit Economy 2030,” in Bratberg and Hamilton, eds. Global Flow Security: A New Security Agenda for the Transatlantic Community, Johns Hopkins/SAIS Center for Transatlantic Relations, 2014.

“Dialogue of the Deaf: Scholars, Practitioners, and the Drug War in U.S. Foreign Relations,” in Lowenthal and Bertucci, eds. Building Bridges: Scholars, Policymakers and International Affairs, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014.

“The International Politics of Drugs and Illicit Trade in the Americas,” (coauthor w/Duran Martinez), in Dominguez, ed. Routledge Handbook on Latin America and the World, Routledge, 2014.


Post-Cold War Conflict (graduate seminar)

Politics of the Illicit Global Economy (lecture course)

Contraband Capitalism: States and Illegal Markets (senior seminar)

Drug War Politics (first year seminar)

News|Recent News


Talks & Media

Book-Related Press

The Daily Beast

Council on Foreign Relations Blog [article 1] [article 2]
The Providence Journal
The Providence Phoenix
Reason Magazine
Baltimore City Paper
The Diane Rehm Show
Interview with Lewis Lapham
Wall Street Journal
Publishers Weekly review
Kirkus Reviews
Foreign Affairs Latinoamérica
Foreign Affairs [article 1] [article 2]
bloomberg.com [article 1] [article 2] [article 3]
Mexican press spotlights Andreas's new book
Publishers Weekly Best New Books list
Amazon Best Nonfiction Books of the Month
Interview with Kai Ryssdal on Marketplace
The Boston Globe
Times Literary Supplement
Amazon Best Books of 2013 / Nonfiction

Book-Related Talks

January 17: Inter-American Dialogue, Washington DC
January 18: Brown Club of Washington
February 5: Council on Foreign Relations, NYC
February 13: Brown University, Providence
March 5: Pell Center for International Relations & Public Policy, Salve Regina University
March 21: Redwood Library, Newport
April 1: University of California Berkeley, Berkeley
April 2: Friends of Watson/Brown Club of San Francisco, San Francisco
April 6: International Studies Association Book Panel, San Francisco
April 17: Harvard Club, NYC
April 22: University of Miami
April 27: Newport Public Library
May 1: Brown Bookstore, Providence
May 6: University of Minnesota, Minneapolis-St. Paul
May 10: Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva
May 13: Brown Club of Paris, Paris
May 14: Brown Club of London, London
May 15: Oxford University, Oxford
May 16: Institute Barcelona for International Studies, Barcelona
May 18: Brown Club of Istanbul, Istanbul
May 20: Bogazici University, Istanbul
May 22: Brown Club of Italy (Milan)
May 31: Athenaeum Library, Providence
June 10: Brown Club of New York
August 1: Brown Club of the Rocky Mountains
August 4: Brown Club of San Diego
August 5: Google (Mountain View CA)
August 30: American Political Science Association "Author Meets Critics" book panel
September 18: Massachusetts Historical Society
October 3: Yale Law School
November 7: CATO Institute
November 8: International Studies Association Northeast, Keynote Speaker