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Thomas Grisaffi


Areas of interest

  • Drug policy
  • Social movements
  • Latin America
  • Ethnography
  • Political anthropology
  • Alternative development

Research centres and groups

Human Geography Research Cluster


Thomas Grisaffi is a lecturer in the Department of Geography and Environmental Science. Trained as an anthropologist, Thomas works on topics including coca and cocaine production and its global commodity chain, indigenous social movements in the Andes, alternative development in drug crop producing zones and democracy.

His book with Duke University Press, titled ‘Coca Yes, Cocaine No’ (2019), is an ethnography of the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS), as it transformed from an agricultural union, criminalised as a result of U.S.-led drug war policies, into Bolivia’s ruling party.

Prior to coming to the University of Reading, Thomas held a Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellowship at University College London, was a fellow of the Drugs, Security and Democracy Program (SSRC/Open Society Foundations), and taught at the London School of Economics.