Cocaine & the Port: Utopias of security, urban relations, and displacement of policing efforts in the Port of Piraeus

  With Professor Anna Sergi, Professor of Criminology, University of Essex

Seminar 6 of the ExLegi Seminar Series 2023

This seminar will take place via Zoom. Please register to attend here. If you have any questions, please email

About the seminar

In large commercial seaports, policing and security efforts to counter the drug trade, especially cocaine, do not appear to be effective beyond a mere displacement effect. In the port of Piraeus, Greece, (perceived) rising quantities of cocaine have called for further securitisation of the port to curb illicit trafficking. This seminar will present the current trends of countering and disrupting cocaine at the port of Piraeus and will also question how these efforts, together with the growth of the port, are affecting the overall territory of and around the port. 

This seminar will first argue that the (perceived) increase in cocaine trade towards/in the port of Piraeus has activated a ‘utopia of security’ in the policing and security responses at the port. This utopia of security leads to paradoxes when it comes to being effective against organised crime in the port. I will conclude by discussing the possibility of a different approach, one of displacement of countering efforts rather than of cocaine flows. This different approach can also rebalance the focus of policing and security authorities on the relationship between the port and its territory. 

About the speaker

Anna Sergi is Professor of Criminology at the University of Essex. Her research specialism is in organised crime policing, mafia mobility studies and comparative criminal justice. She has published extensively in renowned peer-reviewed journals on topics related to Italian mafias both in Italy and abroad, as well as on policing strategies against organised crime across states. Anna is incoming Co-Chair of the Southern Branch of the British Society of Criminology. 

Prior to receiving her doctorate in Sociology from the University of Essex, Anna completed a degree in Law at the University of Bologna, followed by a Master of Law from King’s College London.