Dr Mark Monaghan

Dr Mark Monaghan

Department of Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology
Reader in Criminology and Social Policy

Contact details

University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Mark Monaghan joined the Department in October 2018. He has previously worked at Loughborough University and the University of Leeds. His research is mainly in the area of drugs policy and he is primarily interested in the way research and evidence are used and misused in the policy process. 


Mark completed his PhD in 2008 in the School of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Leeds. He then took up a lectureship in Social Policy at Crime also at Leeds where he continued to research aspects of national and international drugs policy. More recently he has been researching the role of evidence in welfare reform and have published widely on this topic. His work is influenced by realist methods. 


Mark has taught widely at both Undergraduate and Postgraduate Levels primarily in the area of Social and Public Policy and Criminology. Modules taught include: Sociological Thinking; Deviance, Crime and Social Control, Issues in Social Policy and Research, Crime, Law and Regulation, Criminological Theory, Social Research Methods, Issues in Criminology and Social Policy, Drugs Policy.


The issue of illicit drugs has been central to Mark's ongoing research programme and has served as an introduction into various areas of interest. Influenced by realist methodology, it straddles the disciplines of criminology, social policy, public policy, sociology and political science. It contains three main strands.

  • The impact of recent welfare reform for drug users (e.g Monaghan, 2013; 2014; Monaghan and Wincup, 2013; Wincup and Monaghan, 2016) as well as changing patterns of drug consumption and treatment responses (Hamilton, et al, 2014; Monaghan et al, 2016).
  • The scientific and political battles in UK drug policy-making with a particular focus on exploring and analysed the use of evidence and expertise in policy (e.g. Monaghan, 2008; 2010; 2011; 2012; Monaghan, 2014; Monaghan, Wincup and Wicker, 2018).
  • The links between the international drug trade and elite and state criminality (e.g. Monaghan and Prideaux, 2016)

Mark's recent paper on Evidence Translation (Ingold and Monaghan, 2016) was awarded the Ken Young Best Paper Prize for 2016 in the Journal Policy and Politics.

Other activities

From 2009 to 2013 Mark was an associate editor of the Evidence & Policy, and from 2015 to 2018 he was the Secretary and Treasurer of the International Society for the Study of Drug Policy (ISSDP). 


  • Emmel, N., Greenhalgh, J., Manzano, A., Monaghan, M., & Dalkin, S. (Eds.). (2018). Doing Realist Research. SAGE.
  • Tieberghien, J. and Monaghan, M. (2018) Public Criminology and Evidence-Based Policy: The Case of Belgian Drugs Policy, European Journal of Criminology, 15 (3) 278-95 https://doi.org/10.1177/1477370817731413  
  • Wincup, E. and Monaghan, M. (2016) Scrounger narratives and dependent drug users: welfare, workfare and warfare, Journal of Poverty and Social Justice, 24 (3) 261-275 https://doi.org/10.1332/175982716X14721954315084
  • Monaghan, M. (2016) Welfare reform and drug policy: coalition, continuity and change in Harrison, M. and Sanders, T. (eds) Social Policies and Social Control, Bristol: Policy Press
  • Monaghan, M. and Yeomans, H. (2016) ‘Mixing drink and drugs: 'Underclass' politics, the recovery agenda and the partial convergence of English alcohol and drugs policy’, International Journal of Drug Policy, 37 (6) 122-128 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.drugpo.2016.02.005
  • Monaghan, M. and Prideaux, S. (2016). State Crime and Immorality: The Corrupting Influence of the Powerful. Policy Press.
  • Ingold, J. and Monaghan, M. (2016) Evidence Translation: An Actor-Centred Approach to Analysing the Evidence to Policy Connection, Policy & Politics  44 (2) 171-90,
  • Monaghan MP, Hamilton, I., Lloyd, C. and Paton, K. (2016) Cannabis Matters, ‘Cannabis matters? Treatment responses to increasing cannabis presentations in addiction services in England’, Drugs: Education, Prevention, and Policy  DOI: 10.3109/09687637.2015.1090398
  • Monaghan, MP (2014) “Drug Policy Governance in the UK: Lessons from changes to and debates concerning the classification of cannabis under the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act”, International Journal of Drug Policy. 25 (5) 1025-1030 10.1016/j.drugpo.2014.02.001

View all publications in research portal