Dr Euan Raffle


I joined POLIS to undertake a Master’s degree in 2015, then went on to do my PhD in the department between 2016-2020. I have taught in POLIS since 2017, and I am now an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funded postdoctoral research fellow.

Research interests

I completed my PhD in May 2020, which was entitled: Security, Emancipation and Narcotics- State Vigilantism and the War on Drugs in Southeast Asia. The thesis examined the resurgence of the discourses and techniques of the war on drugs by looking at Thaksin Shinawatra’s anti-drugs drive in Thailand in 2003, and Duterte’s comparable campaign in the Philippines following his election in 2016. The thesis argued that the format of state violence in both drugs wars, which led to thousands of deaths, defied existing models of state killing and vigilante violence. The thesis proposed ‘state vigilantism’ as an alternative model of extrajudicial killings, and the concept has been expounded in an article published in the International Journal of Drug Policy. Further, the thesis also examined the role of civil society in contesting the drug war, through processes of offering emancipatory forms of immanent critique. This led onto an interest in exploring how drug policy alternatives are articulated by civil society groups to challenge security led discourses.  

Currently I am working with Dr Adrian Gallagher on an ESRC postdoctoral research fellowship, which has the working title of Exploring State Vigilantism and International Responsibility in the Context of Southeast Asia’s war on Drugs. This fellowship builds upon my PhD and previously published work to examine the role of the Philippine state in carrying out crimes against humanity during its war on drugs. The project will also scrutinise the role of civil society in the Philippines in bringing the war on drugs before the International Criminal Court, which has led to a full investigation into crimes against humanity.  In doing so, the project will address the lacuna in the literature around state responsibility for human rights abuses and extrajudicial killing in the context of the war on drugs.

Journal Articles:

Raffle, E. 2021. The war on drugs in Southeast Asia as ‘state vigilantism’. International Journal of Drug Policy92, pp.1-8. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.drugpo.2021.103114

Gallagher, A., Raffle, E. and Maulana, Z.2020. Failing to fulfil the responsibility to protect: the war on drugs as crimes against humanity in the Philippines, The Pacific Review, 33:2, 247-277, Available from: https://doi.org/10.1080/09512748.2019.1567575

Forthcoming book sections:

Raffle, E. 2022. State Violence in the War on Drugs in Southeast Asia. In: Guillaume, X. and Grayson, K. eds. Security Studies: Critical Perspectives. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


Gallagher, A., Raffle, E. and Maulana, Z. 2019. Does the Philippines’ War on Drugs Amount to Crimes Against Humanity? The Diplomat. [Online]. Available from: https://thediplomat.com/2019/05/does-the-philippines-war-on-drugs-amount-to-crimes-against-humanity/

Research groups and Institutes

  • Centre for Global Security Challenges
  • European Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://essl.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • 2016-2020- PhD International Relations, University of Leeds
  • 2015-2016- MA International Relations, University of Leeds
  • 2011-2014- BA History, University of York

Student education

I have taught on a number of different modules, ranging through International Relations Theory, International Politics, and Comparative Politics.  

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Global Security Challenges
  • European Centre for Responsibility to Protect