Peter Andreas

John Hay Professor of International Studies and Political Science
111 Thayer Street, Room 312
Areas of Expertise Criminal Justice, Immigration, Displacement & Borders, Law Enforcement & Policing
Areas of Interest Transnational crime and crime control, borders and border security, immigration and drug control policy


Peter Andreas is the John Hay Professor of International Studies at Brown University. He joined the Watson Institute in the fall of 2001 and holds a joint appointment with the Department of Political Science. Previously, Andreas was an academy scholar at Harvard University, a research fellow at the Brookings Institution and an SSRC-MacArthur Foundation Fellow on International Peace and Security. He holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in government from Cornell University and a B.A. in political science from Swarthmore College.

Andreas is the author, co-author, or co-editor of eleven books. These include "Smuggler Nation: How Illicit Trade Made America" (2013, Oxford University Press, selected by Amazon and by Foreign Affairs as one of the best books of the year), "Blue Helmets and Black Markets: The Business of Survival in the Siege of Sarajevo" (2008, Cornell University Press), "Policing the Globe: Criminalization and Crime Control in International Relations" (2006, Oxford University Press), "Border Games: Policing the U.S.-Mexico Divide" (3rd ed. 2022, Cornell University Press), and "Killer High: A History of War in Six Drugs" (2020, Oxford University Press, finalist for the Lionel Gelber Prize for best book of the year). He has also written a political memoir, "Rebel Mother: My Childhood Chasing the Revolution" (2017, Simon & Schuster), which was selected by Foreign Affairs as a best book of the year. His latest book, "The Illicit Global Economy: What Everyone Needs to Know," is under contract with Oxford University Press.

Andreas has also written for a wide range of scholarly and policy publications, including International Security, International Studies Quarterly, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The New Republic, Harper's, Slate, Time, and The Nation. Other writings include congressional testimonies and op-eds in major newspapers such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe and The Guardian.


Andreas' research bridges the study of security, political economy, and transnational crime. He is especially interested in the clandestine dimensions of globalization, involving illicit cross-border flows of people, goods, money and information. He traces the interaction between states and illicit flows across time and place, focusing particularly on the practice and politics of government policing efforts along and across borders.


“How the State Made Smuggling and Smuggling Made the State: The History of Immigration Control and Evasion on the U.S.-Mexican Line,” in Kyle and Achilli, eds., Global Human Smuggling, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2023.

“The Illicit Trade and Conflict Connection: Insights from U.S. History,” in Gallien and Weigand, eds., Routledge Handbook of Smuggling, 2022.

Border Games: Policing the U.S.-Mexico Divide, Cornell University Press, 3rd edition 2022.

Killer High: A History of War in Six Drugs, Oxford University Press, 2020.

“Drugs and War: What is the Relationship?” Annual Review of Political Science (2019).


Politics of the Illicit Global Economy (lecture)

Drug War Politics (first-year seminar)

Contemporary Security Issues (graduate seminar)

Contraband Capitalism: States and Illegal Markets (senior research seminar)

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