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For the past twenty years Axel has been working in the drugs field, convening a BSc course in Substance Misuse Management at the University of Kent, as director of the International Unit at the UK charity DrugScope, and as consultant for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the European Commission and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Prior to that he was working on conflict analysis with a focus on Africa. His current interest lies in the convergence of instability and informal economies.
Axel has published widely on different aspects of drug policy, including trafficking in Nigeria, cannabis cultivation in the eastern Caribbean and the production and politics of khat.