WiP: Online Markets for Illicit Drugs in Georgia

CRRC, ARISC and American Councils are proud to present the 2nd talk of the 2020 Spring Series of the Tbilisi Works-in-Progress series, now celebrating its 10th year!

“Online Markets for Illicit Drugs in Georgia”

By Ian Goodrich, CRRC Georgia

Date: March 11, 2020, at 18:30 pm
Venue: CRRC Georgia, 1 Liziko Kavtaradze st., 0179 Tbilisi, Georgia

The consumption of and trade in illicit substances represents a critical challenge for public health policymakers and practitioners. The market for narcotic drugs in Georgia is characterized by increasing diversity in available substances and new mechanisms for their trade. This talk presents initial findings of a supply side analysis of the Georgian drug market using data gathered from the online marketplace, Matanga.

This talk will present a brief overview of digital mechanisms for the trade in illicit narcotic substances, before outlining initial findings from a month-long scrape of an online marketplace. It will show surprising diversity in substance availability, and discuss the prevalence of Novel Psychoactive Substances (NSP) in Georgian drug markets.

Ian Goodrich is a Policy Analyst for CRRC Georgia, where he specializes in digital tools for data acquisition and analysis. Ian joined CRRC in 2019 after over a decade working on relief and development programmes in Eurasia, the Middle East and beyond. His research interests include drug policy, corruption, and the aid sector, although he’s yet to do all three at once. He holds an MA in Public Policy from Central European University, and a BA in International Relations and Security Studies from the University of Bradford. He is uncomfortably enthusiastic about Python.

W-i-P is an ongoing academic discussion series based in Tbilisi, Georgia, that takes place at the CRRC office at 5 Chkhikvadze Str. It is co-organized by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), the American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). All of the talks are free and open to the public. The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.

PRIVACY POLICY: In order to assure the free and open discussion of ideas and sensitive issues, unless otherwise specified the WiP series holds to the Chatham House Rule: participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed, without the explicit permission of said speaker(s) or participant(s) in the press or other public media. Journalists may attend the sessions, but the contents are not for publication or broadcast without the explicit permission of the speaker(s). This is to enable all involved to openly discuss their views in private while allowing the topic and nature of the debate to be made public and contribute to the broader scholarly and academic conversation.